Boeing hosted an event, 6th June 2019, at their Brussels office. Guests included the European Commission, Politico, KLM, IATA, Aviation Weekly, airline associations and public affair consultancies.

There was much discussion from industry specialists who gave their informed thinking on ‘Fuelling the future of Flight’ through sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Sean Newsum of Boeing mentioning he thinks any move towards more sustainable flying will be caused by technology over lifestyle changes.

Faustine Delasalle mentioning that macro economic will come in to play in time and that purchasing of SAF fuelled flights should be led by B2B customers who can financially take some increases in tickets prices in the interim, while SAF is 2-3 times more expensive than fossil.

Robert Boyd let us know there have been SAF 183,000 to date and discussed that is took 15 years to create the CORSIA agreement, a global commitment by airlines to decarbonise by 50% on 2005 levels by 2050.

It was discussed that punitive (green) taxes were not favourable, Cesar Velarde of ICAO also previously mentioning this at the Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, 18th June.

Circular Economy Consulting brought up the fact that when speaking to investors, even to those investing in impactful investments, there was little knowledge of sustainable aviation fuel as a future investment opportunity, so perhaps more awareness raising events could be created to encourage knowledge sharing and market steer.

It was discussed that forward purchasing of biofuel by airlines, which is being done by Cathay Pacific and others, will secure funding for the building of plants in the future and demonstrate demand.

Questions raised: can we create the market for SAF? Which airlines will be the first to make the move to green flights? Pete Harrison of the European Climate Foundation mentioned flying on SAF would add €20/30 per person to European flights and €50 to transatlantic flights. Maybe this is one commitment as individuals we need to make? This is a hard sell to customers, but do we need to face up to this fact?

Emissions have reduced by 2% annually, through fleet renewal and air traffic management efficiencies, but if we want to protect travel for the future then we need a collaborative approach, policy support and incentives to get the sector moving and get to a the tipping point on this, wanted and needed innovation in air travel.

An excellent event which stimulated conversation and brought together experts to exchange ideas on how to solve this global challenge.