Boeing on Friday promised to ensure all its commercial airplanes can fly on and gain certification to use 100 percent sustainable aviation fuels by 2030, establishing a benchmark for its own environmental bona fides following a pledge by Airbus to develop a hydrogen-powered narrowbody by 2035. Boeing has already conducted flight tests replacing jet fuel with 100 percent SAF and has committed to working with regulators to raise the blended limit for expanded use.
According to the Air Transport Action Group, the U.S. Department of Energy, and several other scientific studies, sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent over the fuel's life cycle and carry the potential to reach 100 percent in the future. Today’s standard allows for no more than a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and SAF. Boeing said aviation's commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 will require that airplanes fly on 100 percent SAF “well before” then.
"Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal. "We're committed to working with regulators, engine companies, and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels."
Boeing points to its partnerships with airlines, industry, governments, and research institutions to expand limited SAF supplies and reduce the fuels' cost as evidence of its environmental credentials. The airframer worked with airlines, engine manufacturers, and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011. In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world's first commercial airplane flight using 100 percent sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter in collaboration with FedEx Express.