New investors double United Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund


United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund has announced eight new corporate investors. It formally launched the fund in February 2023 with Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell named as inaugural partners.

In the last four months it has added eight corporate partners and investors: American Express Global Business Travel, Aramco Ventures, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Groupe ADP, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Ventures.

“Our new and inaugural participants demonstrate the impressive commitment both within aviation and beyond to work together to reduce our carbon footprint and combat the threat of climate change,” said Michael Leskinen, president, United Airlines Ventures. “As companies across the globe are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact from flying, the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund presents a unique opportunity – instead of fighting over the current limited supply of SAF, with our partners, we’re working collaboratively to help scale the SAF industry itself, and to get an equity stake in ground-breaking technology while doing it.”

At launch United Airlines said the fund had more than $100m to invest. It has now raised this to more than $200m.

“Solving climate change is doable but it requires hard work and real leadership,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “This fund is unique. It’s not about offsets or things that are just greenwashing. Instead, we’re creating a system that drives investment to build a new industry around sustainable aviation fuel, essentially from scratch. That’s the only way we can actually decarbonize aviation.”

Law firm Sidley advised United Ventures on the capital raise. Kevin Lewis, a transportation partner and Benson Cohen a partner specialising in funds.

“Aviation Capital Group is honoured to be a part of the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund,” said Gordon Grant, vice president and head of ESG at ACG. “Sustainable aviation fuel is essential to reducing the CO2 emissions of air transport, and it supports our efforts to partner with organizations to help our industry reach the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund has a strategy of investing in a range of feedstocks and technology. It has already invested in: Alder Fuels (creating green crude from biomass for SAF); Cemvita (industrial microbes); Dimensional Fuels (e-SAF); Fulcrum BioEnergy (municipal waste to SAF); Next Renewable Fuels (SAF from used cooking oils and other organic waster); Svante (filters and equipment for carbon capture); and Viridos (SAF from algae).