Fiji Airways today achieved another significant milestone on its journey towards a more sustainable future for aviation by flying its newest Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft, named the Island of Vatulele on a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend.
The entire 8,520 km journey from Singapore to Nadi was powered sustainably.
This is the first time ever that Fiji Airways has operated a flight using a SAF blend.
Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive, Andre Viljoen said the inaugural SAF blend powered flight demonstrates Fiji Airways’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and ensuring a sustainable future for aviation.
“As the national carrier of a small island developing state, we are acutely aware of the need for urgent action to combat climate change.”
“As an airline, most of our carbon emissions are generated by using jet fuel, so to meaningfully reduce our carbon footprint; we must embrace using a blend of sustainable fuels.”
Sustainable aviation fuels are produced from sustainable materials, and produce up to 80 per cent less carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel.
Viljoen said by using sustainable fuels, Fiji Airways and all airlines can make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change.
“Whilst we may be a small airline, we have a bold sustainability vision. We firmly believe that every airline, regardless of size, can and must contribute to the preservation of our planet.”
He said Fiji Airways is about to launch a global fuel supply tender in order to secure future supply of SAF to meet its sustainability objectives of using a SAF blend.
“SAF comes with its own set of challenges because the production processes are complex, and there are only a small number of producers.”
Consequently, sustainable fuels are significantly (between 4 to 8 times) more expensive than conventional jet fuel, and are in short supply.
Many larger airlines with more resources have already bought up significant quantities of future SAF capacity, making it somewhat challenging to secure future supply.
“As demand for sustainable fuels increases, we will see investment and production ramp up, and it will become much easier and more affordable for airlines to acquire SAF.”
“We are exploring all options, including the potential for SAF production in Fiji.”
The Island of Vatulele is the fourth next-generation Airbus A350 aircraft to enter the Fiji Airways fleet.
Fiji Airways now has one of the youngest, most modern and most fuel- efficient fleets of aircraft in the world.