Emirates tests 100% SAF on Boeing 777-300ER


Technician stands next to 777 engine with 100% SAF

Emirates has completed a milestone Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) demonstration flight with one engine using 100% SAF.

Neste and Emirates worked with GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell and Virent on the test flight. The Boeing 777-300ER used 100% Neste SAF in one GE90 engine. It flew for one hour on January 30th.

“This flight is a milestone moment for Emirates and a positive step for our industry as we work collectively to address one of our biggest challenges – reducing our carbon footprint. It has been a long journey to finally see this experimental SAF flight take off,” said Adel Al Redha, COO, Emirates. “Such initiatives are critical contributors not only to the industry body of knowledge, but also to demonstrating the use of higher blends of SAF for future regulatory approvals. We hope that landmark demonstration flights like this one will help open the door to scale up the SAF supply chain and make it more available and accessible across geographies, and most importantly, affordable for broader industry adoption in the future,”

Virent added HDO-SAK (Hydro Deoxygenated Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) to the Neste SAF. The Virent SAK, made from plant feedstocks, added aromatics to ensure the proper swelling of the elastomeric seals in the fuel systems. Virent SAK is only approved for test use now.

“SAF plays a crucial role in reducing the emissions of air travel, but to fully leverage its decarbonization potential we need to enable 100% SAF use,” said Jonathan Wood, VP EMEA, Renewable Aviation at Neste. “Test flights like this Emirates flight with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel are an important step towards 100% SAF certification.”

Wood says that Neste aims to produce 1.5m tons of SAF per year by the end of 2023. He said:

“We look forward to growing the supply of SAF also to Dubai.”