Qantas currently sources its renewable fuel from outside Australia. This partnership with Airbus gives the home much more control to meet those super-aggressive goals for switching to more environmentally friendly fuel.
Qantas Airways and Airbus said on Sunday they would invest up to $200 million to accelerate the development of a sustainable aviation fuel industry (SAF) in Australia to help meet the airline’s goal of reducing carbon emissions.
The deal, announced on the sidelines of IATA’s annual IATA meeting in Doha, is in line with Qantas’ target of using 10% SAF in its fuel mix by 2030 and comes after it placed a multi-billion dollar order for Airbus narrow body. and widebody aircraft last month.
The global aviation industry, which aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, is confident that SAF use will increase from about 100 million liters (26 million gallons) per year in 2021 to at least 449 billion liters per year within three decades. , a gigantic and costly undertaking.
Qantas buys SAF in London and Los Angeles, but not in Australia.
“The problem is that there is no sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia and we would like to buy this on a large scale,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told reporters. “We think the way to do that is to put our money where our mouth is.”
The investment, which includes A$50 million ($35 million) in funding previously pledged by Qantas, could go to a mix of start-ups and more incumbents and could also include equity investments, Joyce said.
Funding will be split between Qantas and Airbus with a smaller contribution from engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, owned by Raytheon Technologies, he added. Qantas has ordered Pratt & Whitney engines for its new Airbus narrowbody fleet.
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the Qantas deal was “unique” due to Australia’s recent aircraft ordering and isolation, and was not expected to be repeated with other airlines.
The SAF investment partnership will last for the first five years with an option to extend, the companies said.
Joyce said he hoped it would encourage the Australian government to improve the policy framework and help fund the development of a local SAF industry.
He said Qantas had held promising initial talks with the new center-left government elected last month.
($1 = 1,4430 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Doha; editing by William Mallard and Louise Heavens)
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