Malaysia Airlines has operated its first passenger flight with sustainable aviation fuel.

Flight MH603 from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore on June 5 was operated with a B737-800 aircraft fuelled by a blend of conventional jet fuel and Neste’s My SAF. The SAF is made from 100 per cent renewable and sustainably sourced waste and residue raw materials.

The fuel was supplied through a deal with Petco Trading (UK) Ltd., Petronas’ marketing and trading arm based in Europe, while product handling and refuelling was carried out by Petronas Dagangan Berhad (PDB) at Kuala Lumpur International airport.

The carrier says that the long-term supply of SAF will now be made available at Kuala Lumpur International for potential airline customers, as well as for future flights operated by sister airlines under Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), including Firefly.

This comes after the SAF-fuelled commercial cargo flight MH7979 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in December 2021.

Philip See, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of Malaysia Airlines’ parent company Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), said:

“MAG aims to be a pioneer in using SAF for flights in Malaysia as part of our commitment to achieving socio-economic development and reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We have taken proactive measures in minimising our carbon footprint from the ground up through measures taken within our operations, including fuel efficiency programmes such as SAF.”

“With the commencement of our first passenger flight using SAF, we encourage passengers to join us on this journey as we take the necessary steps to minimise our environmental impacts and plan for more flights powered by SAF; for the betterment of the industry, nation, and future of our planet. Moving forward, we will look to make SAF the cleaner and more viable energy option for our regular flights by 2025.”

Malaysia Aviation Group and PDB entered a partnership in 2021 to explore potential collaborative opportunities to advance sustainability, including the supply and adoption of SAF at Kuala Lumpur International airport.

Azrul Osman Rani, PDB’s Managing Director and CEO, added:

“In line with PETRONAS’ commitment towards achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, exploring the supply of SAF at KLIA is a natural progression for us with aviation fuel being one of our key products.

“With two proven flights, PDB has demonstrated its capabilities and infrastructure readiness in supplying SAF in KLIA from now onwards to support the aviation industry’s sustainability agenda. Coupled with commitment from the special taskforce, we are confident that we will be able to jointly accelerate the transformation of the Malaysian aviation industry into a sustainable one.”

Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President APAC, Renewable Aviation at Neste, commented:

“This collaboration with PETRONAS enables our first supply of Neste MY SAF to Malaysia. I am excited to see how countries and airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are setting ambitious targets to decarbonize aviation and increasingly many airlines are taking SAF into use to reduce their emissions and enable their travellers to fly more sustainably.

“Neste is committed to play its part with the ongoing expansion of our global production capacity to 1.5 million tons of SAF by end of 2023, ready to support the Asia-Pacific and global aviation markets.”

Last year MAG unveiled a new Sustainability Blueprint, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as the promotion of socio-economic development.

For more information on SAF, see our feature: What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?