SINGAPORE, 30 November 2023: Emirates became the world’s first airline to operate an A380 demonstration flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Last week’s historic flight took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB) with one of four engines powered on 100% SAF, helping demonstrate its potential as a drop-in replacement that matches jet fuel’s technical and chemical requirements while being a more sustainable alternative.
Demonstration flights like the one conducted to pave the way for future standardisation, qualification and adoption for 100% SAF flying as governments adopt broader strategies to support the production and scale-up of SAF.
The A380 demonstration flight underlines the performance and compatibility of SAF, making it a safe and reliable fuel source, and contributes to the growing body of research carried out by the industry to evaluate the beneficial effects of 100% SAF on aircraft performance. SAF is currently capped at a 50% blend limit in engines for commercial flights.
The Emirates A380 demonstration flight comes as the aviation industry, international organisations, regulatory bodies, and high-level officials driving policy-related decisions met in Dubai for the Third International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3).
This is the first time drop-in SAF has been used on an A380 aircraft, with the expectation of full compatibility across the aircraft’s existing systems.
The 100% SAF was used in one Engine Alliance GP7200 engine, while conventional jet fuel was used in the other three engines. The PW980 auxiliary power unit (APU) from Pratt & Whitney Canada also ran on 100% SAF.
Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha said: “Emirates is the first passenger airline in the world to operate an A380 with 100% drop-in SAF powering one of four Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. This is another proud moment for Emirates and our partners as we put words into action with the research into and the trialling of higher concentrations of SAF to eventually lead to industry adoption of 100% SAF flying.”
Last month, the first Emirates flights operating with SAF provided by Shell Aviation took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB). Shell supplied 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at the airline’s hub in Dubai.
Emirates is currently uplifting SAF in Norway and France, and the airline continues to seek opportunities to use SAF at various airports as supply becomes available. For flight and booking information visit www.emirates.com