British Airways has signed a deal for aircraft fuel made from recycled cooking oils and other household waste to be produced at scale in the UK and to be in use as early as 2022 to help power its flights. The airline revealed that it had reached the agreement with a refinery in north Lincolnshire to purchase thousands of tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which it said would add up to the equivalent of 700 transatlantic flights on a Boeing 787 with net zero carbon emissions.

BA has committed to power 10% of its flights with SAFs by 2030, and has forged partnerships with US fuel suppliers as well as invested in a future waste-to-fuel plant to be constructed in the north-east of England. The deal with the Phillips 66 Humber refinery will bring commercial production of greener jet fuel to the UK earlier than anticipated. While SAFs still produce carbon emissions in flight, the recycling reduces “lifecycle CO2emissions” by more than 80% compared with traditional jet fuel, the airlines say.

Sean Doyle, BA’s chief executive, said it was “another important step on our journey to net zero carbon emissions”, adding: “The UK has the resources and capabilities to be a global leader in the development of SAF, and scaling up the production of SAF requires a truly collaborative approach between industry and government.”

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Author: Gwyn Topham, The Guardian
Image: Geoff Williamson Aviation Images/Alamy, The Guardian