The United Airlines Ventures (UAV) Sustainable Flight FundSM – a way for companies and consumers to come together and increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the support of start-ups – has increased its investment power to nearly $200 million, and added eight new corporate partners, just five months after its initial launch.
American Express Global Business Travel, Aramco Ventures, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Groupe ADP, Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue Ventures will all join inaugural fund partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell.
Furthermore, United customers can contribute to supplement the airline’s investment in the fund when they book flights. More than 60,000 United customers have contributed a total of more than $200,000 since the fund launched.
SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a lifecycle basis, reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone. To date, United says it has invested in the future production of over five billion gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world (based on publicly announced airline offtake agreements for future purchases of SAF).
Michael Leskinen, United Airlines Ventures president, said: “While United can’t decarbonise the airline industry alone, we can use our leadership and credibility in this space to rally others to join us.
“Our new and inaugural participants demonstrate the impressive commitment within aviation and beyond to reduce our carbon footprint and combat the threat of climate change. 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 groundbreaking technology while doing it.”
United states it will continue to recruit corporations across industries to join the fund and will prioritise investment in new technology, advanced fuel sources, and proven producers – all in an effort to help scale the supply of SAF. Partners also have the potential to gain preferential access to environmental attributes associated with United’s future supply of SAF.
SAF, which currently must be blended with conventional jet fuel to meet regulatory requirements for use within the aircraft, is being made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and, in the future, could be made from other feedstocks including household trash or forest waste.
Through the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, United states that it intends to invest in a variety of SAF feedstocks and technologies, and with the right policy incentives to produce SAF, it hopes its efforts could help build a future of sustainable flight.
(Picture above – Credit: united.com)