The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is one of the most impactful measures for reducing the Air France-KLM Group’s CO2 emissions.
There are two types of these new fuels:
Second-generation biofuels manufactured from biomass – notably used oil and agricultural waste – which are available as of now.
Synthetic fuels – or Power-to-Liquid, products manufactured from CO2 captured in the atmosphere and hydrogen which is present in water – also available as of now.
In 2021, the European Commission approved a new regulation, RefuelEU, making it mandatory for fuel suppliers to include sustainable aviation fuel in the aviation fuel supplied to airlines. Thus, as of 2025, the fuel available in Europe must include a minimum 2% average volume of SAF, rising to 5% in 2025, 10% in 2030 and, ultimately, 45% in 2050.
As a pioneer, our goal is to go beyond the targets set by the regulation with the use of a more than 10% blend of SAF by 2030.
To this end, we have become a member of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) coalition to guarantee the availability of sufficient quantities of SAF to be able to fly with net zero CO2 emissions by the middle of the century.
Air France-KLM selects only fuels whose sustainability is proven and certified by independent, reliable bodies like the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB, https://rsb.org/) or the ISCC+. It requires a more than 75% reduction in CO2 emissions, a minimal impact on biodiversity, no competition with food production or access to food resources, no use of palm oil which is a major factor in deforestation and a positive impact on local development.
Air France and KLM have also been members of the RSB since 2008. This body takes into account 12 criteria for SAF, ranging from food security to rural development, the quality of air, soil and water resources, and waste management.
In 2021, KLM operated the world’s first commercial passenger flight with a blend of 500 liters of sustainably-produced synthetic kerosene. Shell produced this synthetic kerosene at its research center in Amsterdam based on CO2, water and renewable energy from sun and wind in the Dutch territory.
On May 18, 2021, Air France operated the first long-haul flight from Paris to Montreal powered by sustainable aviation fuel manufactured in France. This was the first time that fuel with this level of sustainability has been used on this type of flight, since it enabled a 91% reduction in CO2 across the whole of its life cycle.
On October 2021, Air France, TotalEnergies, the Metropole of Nice Côte d’Azur and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport joined forces to operate a flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel. The flight took off from Nice bound for Paris-Orly, its tanks filled with a 30% blend of sustainable aviation fuel, manufactured by TotalEnergies in its French plants.