17 December 2021
Malaysia Airlines has emerged as the country’s first airline to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The first flight using SAF, MH7979, operated by Malaysia Airlines’ A330-200 aircraft, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on Friday (Dec 17).
The passenger to cargo aircraft was fuelled by a blended mixture of about 38% SAF made from used cooking oil and conventional jet fuel.
Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) group chief executive officer (CEO) Captain Izham Ismail said the flight marked Malaysia Airlines’ commitment to making SAF a cleaner and more viable energy option for regular flights by 2025.
He said the undertaking was the result of a supply deal between Petco Trading (UK) Ltd, which is Petronas’ marketing and trading arm in Europe, and Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and SAF refined from waste and residues.
“Currently, a big portion of emissions are fuel, hence MAG (the parent company of Malaysia Airlines) hopes 100% of Malaysia Airlines’ flights will be using SAF by 2050 for a cleaner and viable energy option,” he told a press conference after attending the welcoming ceremony for the inaugural flight here on Friday.
Over 370,000 flights and 45 airlines using SAF have taken to the skies since 2016.
SAF is one of the key contributors towards decarbonising the aviation industry, with the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use.
Petronas Dagangan Bhd managing director and CEO Azrul Osman Rani, who was also present, said Petronas is venturing into the biofuel space through planned development of a greenfield biorefinery, as well as co-processing at existing facilities.
He said the biorefinery targeted to be ready for start-up in 2025 would be positioned to supply SAF with operational flexibility to produce hydrogenated vegetable oil or renewable diesel as well.
“This will position Petronas as a producer of SAF to provide our aviation partners greater accessibility to sustainable fuel while keeping cost competitive via local capabilities,” he added.