Boeing, South African Airways Launch Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Effort in Southern Africa Collaboration on biofuel supply chain is part of broader efforts to support environmental sustainability
CHICAGO, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and South African Airways (SAA) announced today that they will work together to develop and implement a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa, a first for the continent.
The companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding for sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain development at The Corporate Council on Africa's 9th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit, attended by executives from leading U.S. and African firms and government representatives from several countries. This collaboration between Boeing and SAA is part of the companies' broader efforts to support environmental sustainability for the airline's operations and the commercial aviation industry overall, in addition to advancing South Africa's social and economic development.
"SAA is taking the lead in Africa on sustainable aviation fuels and, by setting a best practice example, can positively shape aviation biofuel efforts in the region," said Ian Cruickshank, SAA Head of Group Environmental Affairs. "By working with Boeing's sustainable aviation biofuel team, which has a history of successful partnerships to move lower-carbon biofuels closer to commercialization, we will apply the best global technology to meet the unique conditions of Southern Africa, diversify our energy sources and create new opportunities for the people of South Africa."
Boeing has collaborated extensively with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to develop road maps for biofuel supply chains in several countries and regions, including the United States, China, Australia and Brazil. The aerospace company's plan to work with SAA is the first such project in Africa.
"Sustainable aviation biofuel will play a central role in reducing commercial aviation's carbon emissions over the long term, and we see tremendous potential for these fuels in Africa," said Julie Felgar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes managing director of Environmental Strategy and Integration. "Boeing and SAA are committed to investigating feedstocks and pathways that comply with strict sustainability guidelines and can have a positive impact on South Africa's development."
Flight tests show that biofuel, which is derived from organic sources such as plants or algae, performs as well as or better than petroleum-based jet fuel. When produced in sustainable ways, biofuel contributes far less to global climate change than traditional fuels because carbon dioxide (CO2) is pulled out of the atmosphere by a growing plant-based feedstock. Boeing and SAA believe that new developments in technology will enable the conversion of biomass into jet fuel in a more sustainable manner without competing with other sectors for food and water resources.
Aviation biofuel refined to required standards has been approved for a blend of up to 50 percent with traditional jet fuel. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been flown since the fuel was approved.
About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa' Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. As part of its corporate responsibility, SAA has committed to the voluntary targets that the International Air Transport Association has laid out for reduction of carbon, with a fleet that is among the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the skies and investment in new technology that ensures greater environmental protection. Digital Website: www.flysaa.com; Twitter: @flysaa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/flysaa
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing Research & Technology collaborates with customers, suppliers, universities and research-and-development agencies throughout the world to provide a broad base of innovative and affordable technologies for Boeing's business units. For more information, please visit www.boeing.com.
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SOURCE South African Airways