Emirates creates sustainable aviation fund

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has announced a commitment to invest US$ 200 million in research and development (R&D) projects aimed at reducing commercial aviation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

No airline has previously made such a major sustainability financial commitment – the funds will be allocated over three years. Emirates will partner with leading organisations developing advanced fuel and energy technology solutions.

The Emirates Environmental Sustainability Executive Steering Group, supported by technical experts, will oversee disbursements from the fund. The long-term environmental policy focuses on three areas: reducing emissions, responsible consumption and preserving wildlife and the environment.

In January, Emirates successfully flew the first demonstration flight on 100% sustainable jet fuel in partnership with Boeing and GE. Since 2017, when Emirates’ first flight on sustainable fuel was carried out, the airline has been actively involved in the SAF market and is looking for opportunities to use this fuel on its flights, where practically applicable.

However, biofuels, currently the only type of SAF commercially available, are limited in supply. IATA estimates that the available annual stock of SAF worldwide meets less than 0.1% of airlines’ needs.

Emirates’ investment in maintaining a young and modern fleet continues to play a critical role in meeting the airline’s emissions reduction commitment. To date, Emirates’ order book includes 200 of the latest wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including the A350 and 777X models.

The airline has developed a comprehensive fuel efficiency programme, with active research and application of ways to optimise combustion products and emissions where technically possible.

Emirates is also investing in renewable energy initiatives, including the installation of solar panels to power some of its operational infrastructure in Dubai, as well as the use of electric vehicles in both the runway area and others.

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