Airbus has strengthened its relationship with energy company and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplier TotalEnergies by signing a strategic partnership agreement with the company on the continued supply of the fuel and research on developing 100% sustainable alternatives. 

The agreement continues an SAF partnership between the two companies that began in 2016 when TotalEnergies began supplying the SAF used by Airbus in Toulouse for its aircraft deliveries and will see the company now supply more than half of the manufacturer’s SAF needs in Europe. 

Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, said: “We are happy to form a strategic alliance with Airbus to play our part in meeting the challenge of aviation decarbonisation together. TotalEnergies has been working hard to respond to the sector’s new demand for a reduced carbon footprint.” 

As well as furthering Airbus’ ambitions of achieving net carbon neutrality for its operations by 2050, the partnership also falls in line with TotalEnergies own goal of producing 1.5m tons of SAF per year by 2030. 

In addition to covering the supply SAF, collaboration between the companies will include a research and innovation programme exploring 100% sustainable fuels as TotalEnergies SAF currently only provides a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions. 

The programme would look at fuels tailored to both current and future aircraft models and also study the impact of the composition of SAFs on CO2 emissions reductions and other environmental impacts such as contrails. 

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Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, outlined the importance of partnerships like this to achieve targets on emissions reductions, he said: “This partnership between Airbus and TotalEnergies demonstrates the willingness of aerospace manufacturers and major energy producers and suppliers to work together to meet this challenge. 

“We are determined to meet our decarbonisation targets and ensure that aviation can continue to play its valuable role for society in the future.” 

While 100% SAF is able to be used in currently available aircraft, showcased by projects such as Emirates first use of the fuel in an A380 or Virgin Atlantic’s first commercial transatlantic SAF flight, the availability of the fuel and its higher costs have limited its use on a broad scale.