United Airlines says its Sustainable Flight Fund has surpassed $200m, buoyed by the support of new corporate backers.

The airline said, in a statement, that the new additions to the initiative included Aircastle, Air New Zealand, Embraer, Google, HIS, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Safran Corporate Ventures and Technip Energies.

The Sustainable Flight Fund, now strengthened by a total of 22 partners spanning the aviation spectrum, is poised to accelerate the transformation of the airline industry towards greener practices.

The airline noted that since its inception in February 2023, the fund remained aviation’s first and only venture fund backed by a broad limited partner base and created to identify and support startups advancing feedstock and technology development focused on increasing the supply of SAF.

SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a life-cycle basis, reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone.

To date, United has invested in the future production of over five billion gallons of SAF, the most of any airline in the world.

The Managing Director of United Airlines Ventures, Andrew Chang, said, “SAF is the best tool we have to decarbonise airplanes, but we don’t have enough of it.

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“To create the fuel supply, we need for our fleet, United recognised that we would have to help build a brand-new industry from scratch, like wind and solar in previous decades,” Chang stated.

He maintained that as part of efforts to build a new sustainable aviation ecosystem, the firm recruited a group of partners with industry expertise to support startups with both financial and strategic capital.

United Airlines said it aimed to be net-zero by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 100 per cent by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets.

In addition to the UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM, the airline disclosed that it launched an SAF purchasing programme, called the Eco-Skies Alliance and established a venture fund to identify and invest in companies and technologies that could help decarbonise air travel.

Recently, the Director-General of the International Air Transport Association, Willie Walsh, said a massive collective effort was needed to increase SAF output as a proportion of overall renewable fuel production as quickly as possible.

“Our push to connect our world even more strongly than before the pandemic must not come at the expense of our environment. The industry’s goal to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 remains steadfast,” he asserted.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/690138529/WV7HMj_Yfg1Qx1PQ?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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