JetBlue plans to begin flying using sustainable aviation fuel on flights from San Francisco International Airport in mid-2020, the airline announced this week. Those flights will use Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel produced from 100% renewable raw materials.
Neste, which is known as the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel, says the jet fuel has as much as an 80% smaller carbon footprint than fossil jet fuel over its lifecycle.
“Safety is JetBlue’s number one priority and the fuel is fully compatible with the existing jet engine technology and fuel distribution infrastructure when blended with fossil jet fuel,” the companies said. “The fuel is being shipped via the fuel pipeline to the airport, where it will be safely used alongside regular fuel without safety or operational impact.”
The airline added that it’s continuing to explore sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) options, and sees agreements like the one with Neste as helping kickstart the SAF market. Last fall, the airline converted the largest part of its ground service equipment fleet at JFK to electric power — a move that should save more than $500,000 on annual fuel costs.
In addition, JetBlue said this week that the company will offset carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel for all domestic flights starting in July. The airline expects that 85 new Airbus A321neo aircraft will improve fuel economy by 20%. Replacing older aircraft with 70 Airbus A220s should also reduce emissions per seat by about 40%, JetBlue said.
JetBlue has been pushing for a more efficient air traffic control system as well. Current inefficiencies account for as much as 12% of fuel burn and resulting emissions, according to the airline.
“We reduce where we can and offset where we can’t,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s chief executive officer. “By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation — and all sectors — must plan for.”