Virgin Atlantic agrees sustainable aviation fuel supply with Neste and ExxonMobil

Virgin Atlantic plane in flight
Virgin Atlantic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
9 February 2022

Virgin Atlantic is one step closer to its sustainable fuel target, thanks to an agreement with Neste Oyi to supply 2.5 million litres of neat Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which will be delivered in the first half of 2022 to London Heathrow.

The agreement forms part of a wider collaboration between Virgin Atlantic and Neste, the world’s leading provider of SAF, to increase the availability and use of SAF in the UK.

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. In its neat form, it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% of life cycle, compared to traditional fossil jet fuel.

The tail fin and underwing of Virgin Atlantic's Airbus A350 G-VLUX
Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic and Neste are working with ExxonMobil on this delivery of SAF into the UK. ExxonMobil is already Virgin Atlantic’s largest fuel supplier at London Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic has had a track record as a sustainability leader for more than a decade and is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Right now, the whole of its fleet is twin engine aircraft – and 70% of those are next generation, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies. This follows a multi-billion dollar fleet renewal programme that has already delivered a 20% reduction in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2019.

The agreement with Neste represents the first commercial supply of SAF for Virgin Atlantic, following its long-standing commitment to SAF and operation of the first commercial aircraft to use sustainable fuels in 2008.

Holly Boyd-Boland, VP Corporate Development, Virgin Atlantic said: “After fleet renewal, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonise aviation in the short to medium term. This supply is the beginning of commercial SAF at scale for Virgin Atlantic and whilst only enough to operate 140 flights between London and New York, it’s a starting point.

“To meet our 10% SAF target in 2030 we need to deliver this volume more than 70 times over, requiring cross industry and Government action to support commercialisation of SAF at scale, particularly in the UK. We will continue to work closely with Neste and ExxonMobil, as well as wider industry partners, to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”

Visit Virgin Atlantic to find out more.