Emirates pilots SAF flight
Emirates has operated its first milestone demonstration flight on a Boeing 777-300ER, powering one of its engines with 100 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The flight took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB), and was commanded by Captain Fali Vajifdar and Captain Khalid Nasser Akram, flying for more than one hour over the Dubai coastline.
Emirates’ demonstration flight, the first in the Middle East and North Africa to be powered by 100 per cent SAF, supports broader efforts to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions as the industry looks to scale up its use of SAF. The flights will also help to refine the playbook for future SAF demonstrations, and support future certification where 100 per cent drop-in SAF fuel is approved for aircraft. Currently, SAF is approved for use in all aircraft, but only in blends of up to 50 per cent with conventional jet fuel.
The test flight further demonstrates the compatibility of the specially blended SAF as a safe and reliable fuel source. The promising outcome of this initiative also adds to the body of industry data and research around SAF blends in higher proportions, paving the way for standardization and future approval of 100 per cent drop-in SAF as a replacement for jet fuel, well above the current 50 per cent blend limit.The demonstration flight powered by SAF holds particular significance as the UAE declares 2023 the ‘Year of Sustainability’.