Shell to Supply a South Korea Airline With Sustainable Fuel Over Five Years

The use of SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) is becoming mandatory, yet availability continues to be a major issue. Several of the largest airlines in the world have already started making deals with SAF producers or suppliers to secure enough fuel for the coming years, when this alternative fuel will be used on a wider scale in commercial aviation.
Shell has agreed to supply a South Korea airline with SAF 7 photos
Photo: Shell
Asiana and Shell Sign a SAF Purchase AgreementAsiana and Shell Sign a SAF Purchase AgreementAsiana and Shell Sign a SAF Purchase AgreementAsiana and Shell Sign a SAF Purchase AgreementSustainable Aviation FuelSustainable Aviation Fuel
By 2025, every flight departing from EU airports, even those that aren’t operated by European airlines, will need to be powered by 2% SAF. At the end of this decade, that requirement will grow to 5%. Through the European Climate Law and the Fit for 55 packages, the EU is reinforcing the use of SAF. Basically, all future flights will be required to carry even a minimal amount of this alternative fuel.

It probably won’t be long until similar standards are set in other parts of the world as well. In the meantime, SAF producers are trying to increase their production capacity, as global demand is growing slowly, but surely.

When it comes to airlines, United took the boldest step back in 2021, when it signed what it claimed to be the biggest purchase agreement for SAF in the entire aviation history. Based on the agreement, Alder Fuels will deliver green jet fuel to United for no less than 20 years – an incredibly long period of time, amounting to 1.5 billion gallons of SAF.

Compared to that truly historic purchase, the latest one signed by the South Korean operator Asiana Airlines is much more modest, setting a period of five years for preferential SAF deliveries. The airliner’s partner in this case is the fuel and energy giant Shell, which will be supplying the airline with green jet fuel through its network in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.

It’s important to note that both this recent MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) and the United one will become effective somewhere in the future. In the case of Asiana, 2026 was set as the starting point for the SAF deliveries that will then continue over a period of five years.

As for United, things are vaguer, and no official starting point was established. According to the initial announcement, the deliveries would only start once Alder Fuels begins to produce SAF on a large scale, complying with specific standards set by United.

This isn’t the first SAF-related deal for Shell. The energy giant has signed a similar MoU with Lufthansa, agreeing to deliver sustainable fuel over a seven-year period, this time starting as soon as 2024. Lufthansa even claims to be the biggest SAF customer in Europe.

Shell also intends to gradually sell more SAF than conventional jet fuel, hoping to reach 10% out of its total aviation fuel sales, by the end of this decade.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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