Behind the scenes with Virgin Atlantic’s new advertising campaign

Virgin Atlantic has launched a new brand and advertising campaign – the first in more than two years since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The campaign has been created with newly appointed advertising agency Lucky Generals and introduces the end line “See the world differently”, a line that draws on the airline’s heritage of challenging the status quo – as well as recognising that the travel industry is entering an exciting new era, after the disruption brought on by the pandemic.

You can see a behind-the-scenes view of the filming of the commercial which took place over five days, in three locations and starred Virgin Atlantic pilots, crew and front line team, below:

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO explained what is at the heart of the campaign: 

At the core of our business is the understanding that every one of our people can be themselves at work and that they belong. They truly are the thing that sets us apart and the reason customers choose to fly with us.

We know that the touchpoints that matter most and the experiences that differentiate Virgin Atlantic, are driven by our people and that’s why it was so important they’re at the heart of this campaign.

Annabelle Cordelli, Vice President, Brand & Marketing at Virgin Atlantic said,

It’s more important than ever that we reimagine the world and lead the way with fresh ideas. Virgin Atlantic is uniquely placed to do this because of the rich individuality of our people and our customers: the unique people who march to their own drumbeat, fly their own path, see things from a different angle.

So it makes sense to start by championing them – and then apply this spirit to everything we do. After two challenging years when life has been on pause, it’s time to see the world differently.

Virgin Atlantic was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2021, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fifth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs 6,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 27 destinations across four continents.       

£117m investment in refurbished Pendolinos

Avanti West Coast’s first refurbished Pendolino has returned to service after being transformed as part of the UK’s biggest train upgrade.

The tilting, electric powered Pendolinos are among the most iconic trains in the UK, and transformed train travel between some of Britain’s biggest cities when they were introduced nearly two decades ago.

Customers onboard a recent 05:05 service from Manchester Piccadilly to London were the first to travel on the upgraded Pendolino. They experienced the new, more comfortable seats, a revamped shop and better on-board customer information.

After reaching London, the refurbished train made a quick round trip to Liverpool before being welcomed into Euston by invited guests and Avanti West Coast colleagues. It will visit other destinations such as Birmingham, the Lakes, Glasgow and Edinburgh during its normal course of work.

Rail Minister Wendy Morton said,

The iconic Pendolino is back and better than ever before. This refurbished version of the classic fleet is a fantastic example of our cutting-edge rail network and how our railways are leading the way in creating a cleaner, more environmentally friendly and modern transport system.

The £117m upgrade programme was two years in the making and involved experts in technology, customer information and ergonomics.

Customer improvements include:

  • 25,000 new, ergonomic Standard Class seats
  • Conversion of one First Class carriage on each of the 35 eleven-carriage Pendolinos to provide more than 2,000 extra Standard Class seats
  • The introduction of a new onboard shop
  • Improved lighting and new interior carpets
  • Greater use of technology with customer-friendly passenger information screens
  • Additional luggage space in Standard Class
  • Power points at every seat
  • New carpets throughout using sustainable British wool
  • Refurbished toilets
  • New First and Standard Premium seats
Widely regarded as the UK’s ‘hardest working train fleet’, Pendolinos have served towns and cities along the West Coast Main Line for nearly twenty years, clocking up more than 270 million miles – enough to go to the moon and back more than 500 times.

Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said:

This investment has been one of the key promises to our customers and they will see a dramatic transformation of our well-loved fleet. The refurbished Pendolinos look and feel like new trains with state of the art technology as well as brand new seats that promise best-in-class comfort.

The remaining 55 trains are to receive the same treatment as part of the £117m programme with the second set due back in service early in May 2022. Rail manufacturer Alstom is undertaking the work at their new depot in Widnes in the North West, helping to secure 100 skilled jobs.

Peter Broadley, Managing Director Services, Alstom said:

We are delighted with the launch of the newly modernised Pendolino. Working closely with our partners at Avanti West Coast and Angel Trains, we have created something truly special for the customers travelling on the West Coast Mainline. Our team at Widnes have created something amazing and we are incredibly proud of the final product. We hope it secures the future of the Pendolinos on the West Coast for many years to come.

The newly refurbished Pendolinos offer a range of new, comfortable and useful services. From top left – Standard Premium seating; wireless charging points; water dispensers; table power options; passenger information screens; onboard shop
From top left – seat occupancy information; seat occupancy cameras; First class seating; at-seat power sockets


Virgin Australia opens secret, invitation-only lounges

Virgin Australia has lifted the curtain on the airline’s long awaited invitation-only private Beyond Lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, reserved for corporate partners, some high-status Velocity Frequent Flyer members and key opinion leaders throughout the country.

The re-opening of the highly anticipated lounge network – previously known as The Club – signifies a major milestone in the airline’s transformation plan and follows a long list of significant customer improvements since Virgin Australia was relaunched in 2020.

Virgin Australia Beyond is now the highest tier of loyalty for Virgin Australia customers and sits alongside the airline’s award-winning Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program which continues to offer Red, Silver, Gold and Platinum status.

Beyond member benefits include:

  • 12-month annual membership for the primary member with the option also to nominate a spouse/partner for Beyond membership to enjoy the same benefits. Membership is reviewed each year.
  • Access to dedicated Beyond Lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with a relaxed à la carte menu offering.
  • Dedicated phone concierge service to make or change bookings.
  • 4 x complimentary upgrades to Business Class each year*.
  • 1 x complimentary Velocity Gold membership for the primary member’s executive assistant.

With capacity for hundreds of Virgin Australia’s most valued frequent flyers across the three capital city private lounges, members will enter via a discreet door with access granted through a sustainable digital membership card only given to Virgin Australia’s most loyal flyers.

Privacy pods

Locations of the entrance doors will continue to remain unmarked but are located in close proximity to Virgin Australia’s existing domestic lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. In a survey of Beyond members conducted last year, privacy was found to be one of the most important attributes of the invitation-only lounges. Once through the discreet entrance, members will experience a quiet and welcoming space, with design elements including feature leather clad and oak timber walls, plush ‘Chester-style’ armchairs, bright greenery and secluded privacy pods.

The privacy pods are a member favourite in the lounges and contain timber cabinetry with built-in charging stations, making it easy for members to work or relax on the fly. Transparent frosted glass surrounds the pods allowing for natural light to enter while maintaining discretion for those seated inside.

Numerous seating zones are spread throughout the lounges, providing members with different spaces to dine, relax, refresh and recharge in a delightfully Virgin Australia way. End of day facilities such as showers (available from 1 July 2022), towels and premium bathroom amenities by Appelles Apothecary Lab are also available for members.

Private offices and board rooms are also available in each Beyond Lounge and can be booked by members ahead of or on the day of travel.

New menu launched

To coincide with the opening of Beyond, Virgin Australia has launched a new and fresh à la carte menu for Beyond members, featuring light and substantial fresh menu options using ‘the finest Australian produce’. All food is freshly prepared on site and can be ordered with the airline’s dedicated Beyond Lounge Hosts who are on hand to deliver a personalised service experience.

The breakfast and all-day dining menus will rotate regularly based on supply and seasonality, and include the following dishes:

  • Breakfast options including eggs made to order:
  • Superfood salads;
  • Sandwiches and healthy wraps;
  • Seafood and meat pastas;
  • Decadent desserts;
  • Cheese boards featuring some of the best Australian cheesemongers; and
  • Virgin Australia’s signature truffle fries, a firm favourite members insisted on retaining.

To complement the menu, Virgin Australia Beyond members will have access to a wide range of carefully selected beverages, including spirits, Australian wine (pink, white and red), cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, sparkling and still water, tea and coffee.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said,

We are continuing to write a new chapter at Virgin Australia and this is the next wonderful edition of our transformation journey. Virgin Australia is dedicated to providing exceptional service experiences and product offerings at great value prices, and Beyond is a great example of Virgin Australia investing in the products and services our guests value most.



Air France-KLM launches “Flying Blue Family”

Flying Blue, the Air France-KLM Group’s frequent flyer programme, has launched “Flying Blue Family”.

With this new online free of charge service, any Flying Blue member over 18 years old can now create a “Flying Blue Family” and invite up to 7 other members.

The leader of the Flying Blue Family can transfer Miles from the other members’ accounts to his or her own at any time.

Miles shared in this way provide faster access to the programme’s rewards and offers, so everyone benefits!

“Flying Blue Family” can group up to 8 relatives, with a maximum of 2 adults and 6 children. This service is now available on members’ online profiles on the Air France and KLM websites..

A film directed by Ugo Mangin humorously depicts the members of a family having trouble agreeing on their next destination. When you share your Miles with your family, you have to agree on your dream destination. Shot in slow motion, this 60-second film by the agency Isobar highlights the difficult choice family members may face.

Flying Blue Family

To spend even more time together, Flying Blue also offers additional benefits dedicated to kids and teens. The frequent flyer programme offers a 25% discount on award tickets for children aged 2 to 11, travelling with an adult.

In addition, Miles do not expire for members under 18. And Flying Blue allows its members on parental leave to extend their current status.

Flying Blue is the Air France-KLM Group’s frequent flyer programme. Created in 2005, it now has 17 million members worldwide, who have access to a multitude of awards and benefits, and can earn and spend miles with a wide selection of airline, retail and financial partners.

Virgin Atlantic elevates its customer experience

Virgin Atlantic has unveiled a series of new experiences that will be exclusively available on its A350s.

‘The Booth’ is the latest innovation in Virgin Atlantic’s industry leading social spaces and is available on its A350s with a leisure configuration.  Tucked away in the Upper Class cabin, The Booth aspires to create a cosy corner, providing comfy lounge style seating. It offers a number of experiences for two, including private dining and wine and cognac tasting.    

Upper Class customers can experience wine tasting with new drinks supplier, ‘The Uncommon’

The wine tasting experience will see drinks by The Uncommon feature for the first time on-board Virgin Atlantic.

The Uncommon is the UK’s number one producer of wine in a can and is paving the way for a new English wine era with its locally grown, sustainably made wine and spritzers. 

Customers in The Booth will be able to sample a thoughtfully curated selection of three wines from The Uncommon, which include an English White and Rose, alongside a lighter  spritzer – perfect to tantalise the tastebuds at 38,000 ft. 

For customers seeking a slightly richer experience, a cognac tasting experience with chocolate pairings courtesy of Delamain is also available. 

Delamain has been crafting some of the world’s finest cognacs for over two centuries and across nine generations.

Every Delamain cognac is crafted from deux-de-vie sourced from cognac’s finest terroir, the Grande Champagne. 

Every customer taking part in the tasting experience will receive a tasting glass to keep as a memento of their Virgin Atlantic journey. 

Further experiences on offer in The Booth include ‘Dinner for Two’ private dining for two and ‘Game Time’ where guests can compete with their travel partner thanks to exclusive Virgin Atlantic playing cards. 

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented;
 

We always strive to create brilliantly different experiences for our customers and the introduction of The Booth demonstrates this perfectly.  We’re famous for our on-board social spaces and The Booth elevates the customer proposition to new heights.

Whether that’s sampling the leading English wines from The Uncommon, sipping Delamain’s  signature cognac or simply enjoying a game of rummy at 38,000 feet, we’ve got something on offer to suit every one of our customers’ tastes.

Virgin Atlantic’s social spaces provide an unique opportunity for customers to interact with each other, alongside the airline’s famous cabin crew.  In the coming months the airline hopes to roll out further rich experiences for its customers across its entire fleet.

Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A350 is  powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and continues Virgin Atlantic’s investment in a more sustainable fleet. It’s designed to be 30% more fuel and carbon efficient than the Boeing 747s it replaced and is expected to reduce the airline’s noise footprint at its airports by more than half.

The Booth was designed collaboratively by Virgin Atlantic’s in-house design team alongside London design agency Factorydesign.

Travelodge is going ‘budget-luxe’ with a new premium look and feel

Travelodge, the pioneers of the UK budget hotel sector, have announced they are evolving their core brand product to a new ‘budget-luxe’ premium look and feel design – whilst maintaining their great value price proposition.  

The new chic Travelodge room offers everything a business or leisure guest needs for a comfortable, relaxing stay and most importantly a good night’s sleep.

The new design has been created on the success of the group’s budget chic hotel format, TravelodgePLUS with feedback from the company’s largest consumer study – which surveyed around 5,000 UK business and leisure travellers to find the psychographics of the modern budget traveller.

Key findings revealed that modern travellers crave style, choice and little homely touches to make it easier to work, rest and relax both inside and outside of the room.

In response to this consumer insight, the Travelodge interiors team have remodelled their core product with a new budget-luxe design that includes all the low cost efficiencies you would expect from Travelodge but with the added benefit of thoughtful, stylish design and, homely touches throughout its interiors.

This is underpinned by the introduction of a new signature rich navy blue brand colour which pays homage to the first iconic Travelodge blue brand colour- chosen for its calming and uplifting qualities.

The Travelodge budget-luxe design also includes a number of sustainable initiatives. This includes the new carpet being made from recycled fishing nets which are part of a project supporting clean ocean initiatives, tackling over 640 000 tonnes of discarded fishing nets currently impacting marine life. The carpet backing is also made of old plastic bottles. Every ten of these bottles which are recycled rather than being sent to landfill saves enough energy to power a laptop for 25 hours.  Other features include low energy lighting, motion sensing controls and aerated showers and taps

The group intends to roll out its new budget-luxe design across its UK estate and has kick-started this programme with a multi-million pound investment to upgrade 60 hotels this year in popular business and staycation destinations across the UK.  Five of these hotels will be completed in April 2022, including three hotels in London at Southwark, Vauxhall and Wembley as well as Southampton and Thame (Oxfordshire) close to Travelodge’s headquarters.    

Craig Bonnar, Travelodge Chief Executive said: 

Travelodge has been a trailblazer within the UK hotel sector since it opened the UK’s first budget hotel in 1985. We are once again evolving by launching a new ‘budget-luxe’ premium look and feel hotel design whilst maintaining our great value price proposition.

This is our most radical transformation to date and has been created in response to ever increasing expectations from customers.

Thoughtful, stylish design and homely touches really matter in today’s world when staying away for business or leisure.

British Airways returns to short-haul European flying from Gatwick

After two years British Airways returned to international short-haul flying from Gatwick Airport when its first service departed for Larnaca at 6:25am on 29 March.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the airline suspended its European operation at Gatwick Airport, moving a number of flights over to Heathrow.

The restart marks a milestone in the airline’s recovery as it finally returns to international short-haul flying from the airport.

Initially services operate under the British Airways Air Operators Certificate, before moving operations to a new British Airways branded subsidiary, BA Euroflyer later in the year. The new airline will operate in a similar manner to the company’s existing subsidiary BA Cityflyer, flying under the British Airways brand and delivering a premium British Airways product.

British Airways crew at London’s Gatwick airport

On the first day of operation, British Airways operated four short-haul flights to Larnaca, Amsterdam, Paphos and Tenerife. In total, customers will have the choice of 35 destinations to fly to from Gatwick, before more destinations are added later this year.

Not only has the British Airways return to Gatwick created more choice for customers, but also helped create jobs as the airline undertook both a cabin crew and pilot recruitment campaign to fill positions at its new subsidiary.

Tom Stoddart, Acting CEO British Airways Euroflyer, said

Today marks a significant milestone for British Airways as we operate our first European services from Gatwick in two years.

I am really proud of what we have created at Gatwick, we have an excellent team with lots of new and exciting talent. I am looking forward in anticipation to see our newest subsidiary grow, adding new routes and providing customers with more options to get away on holiday with a premium British Airways service.”

Millar Smith, British Airways Euroflyer Crew member, said:

I was over the moon when I found out that I had been accepted as crew for British Airways, it is my dream job! Before this I worked as a 999 handler for the London Ambulance Service, which has been incredibly useful throughout my training with the airline. British Airways is a premium British airline and that is what excited me about the job role. My first service will be to Tenerife and I can’t wait!

Customers flying on the airline’s new subsidiary will receive the same high level of service they expect of British Airways as well as enjoying the benefits of travelling with the UK’s flag carrier including a generous baggage allowance, free water and snacks, free seat selection at -24 hours and frequent flyer benefits which include lounge access.

All of the airline’s services will have a Club Europe (business class) cabin setting it apart from its no frills competitors. Customers flying in this cabin will have access to a premium check-in experience, exclusive lounges and a complimentary gourmet meal and bar service on board.

Customers in the airline’s Euro Traveller (economy) cabin will be able to purchase food before travel which will include fresh options from Tom Kerridge as part of the airline’s ‘Speedbird Café’ menu and/or order ambient products and drinks onboard via their mobile phone.

The return of European short-haul flying from Gatwick came a day after the airline returned to its home at Gatwick South Terminal following its reopening.

To mark the occasion the airline also showed off its new dedicated World Traveller Plus check-in zone which is available for customers flying on a long-haul service with the airline.

The new zone which sits alongside the airline’s Club World desks gives those travelling in its World Traveller Plus cabin (premium economy) an exclusive check-in experience.

They will shortly be rolled out at Heathrow, followed by the rest of the British Airways network.

British Airways to power a number of flights with sustainable aviation fuel as it marks the delivery of its first supply from Phillips 66 Limited

British Airways has taken delivery of the first batch of sustainable aviation fuel produced by Phillips 66 Limited, making it the first airline in the world to start using SAF produced on a commercial scale in the UK.

Phillips 66 SAF refinery

The Phillips 66 Humber Refinery near Immingham is producing thousands of tonnes of SAF that will now help power a number of British Airways flights.

The SAF is produced from sustainable waste feedstock at the refinery and British Airways will add it into the existing pipeline infrastructure that directly feeds several UK airports including London Heathrow.

British Airways and Phillips 66 are both committed to a lower carbon future. The sustainable aviation fuel bought by the airline will be enough to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by almost 100,000 tonnes, enough to power 700 net zero CO2 emissions flights between London and New York on its fuel-efficient Boeing 787 aircraft.  

Both companies support Government plans for a future SAF mandate and a business model for investing in advanced waste to jet fuel projects through participation in the Department for Transport’s Jet Zero Council Delivery Group.

British Airways also continues to work with Government on ways to provide certainty for investors to help the UK be a leader in SAF production.

The delivery of the first batch of SAF from Phillips 66 Limited is a significant milestone for the airline as it aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

International Airlines Group, the airline’s parent company, is investing $400 million over the next 20 years into the development of SAF and British Airways has existing partnerships with several companies to develop plants and purchase the sustainable fuel.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said:

Being the first airline to source sustainable aviation fuel produced at commercial scale in the UK is another breakthrough moment for us and the airline industry.

Our supplies of SAF from Phillips 66 Limited will allow us to progress with our ambitious roadmap to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and will play a role in our commitment, as part of International Airlines Group (IAG), to power 10% of flights with SAF by 2030.

Progressing the development and commercial scale up of sustainable aviation fuel will be a game changer and crucial to reducing the aviation sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and improving the UK’s energy supply resilience. I’m confident that Britain can take a leading role on the global stage in this space, creating green jobs and export opportunities, if industry, developers and Government continue to collaborate and make it a key focus area.

Darren Cunningham, Lead Executive UK and General Manager Humber Refinery, said:

Phillips 66 Humber Refinery is proud to supply British Airways with sustainable aviation fuel.  We were the first in the UK to co-process waste oils to produce renewable fuels and now we will be the first to produce SAF at scale. We’re currently refining almost half a million litres of sustainable waste feedstocks a day, and this is just a start.

The strategic collaboration and supply agreement confirm each companies’ commitment to a lower carbon future.  The production of SAF is just one of a number of decarbonisation projects we are currently progressing, and we are excited by the role that we play in supplying the UK with the fuels it needs, both now and in the future.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted:

British Airways Speedbird Café menu app

British Airways customers can now also join the airline on its journey to reach net zero by 2050 through its onboard Speedbird Café menu app.

A new category can be found on the BA Better World tab labelled ‘Contribute to Carbon Offsets’, where customers on short-haul European flights can help fund carbon reduction projects around the world.

The £2.50 contribution represents the carbon compensation of an average British Airways European return flight per customer, and the funds are invested in verified CO2 emissions reduction and avoidance projects.


Launching BA Better World in September 2021, British Airways made a commitment to create a better, more sustainable future with a focus on people, planet and responsible business. Today the airline is publishing its latest sustainability report looking back at the milestones and achievements of the last year and has also launched its new sustainability docuseries, with the first video being all about SAF. 

Top travel agents recognised at national awards ceremony

The UK’s top travel agents were recognised at a presentation dinner and awards ceremony at Birmingham’s spectacular The Vox convention centre last night (24 March).

Organised by travel industry publication TTG and sponsored by some of the travel industry’s biggest names, the TTG Top 50 is the annual celebration of the very best travel agencies in the country.

The awards are split into twelve regional categories for high street travel agents, eight national awards for the best-of-the-best and four ‘special’ categories.

Of the 24 categories, one is devoted to business travel. And it’s for this award – the Best Business Travel Agency 2022 – that Global Travel Management was honoured by being shortlisted, along with just three other companies.

Speaking before the event, Scott Pawley, managing director of GTM said,

From customer comments we receive on a regular basis, we know we’re doing a great job.  In fact that’s why so many customers remain so loyal to GTM; and why we’re heading out of the pandemic with more customers than at any time in our history.  But to be nominated for shortlisting in this category is a huge testament to the work we have put in over the years to make sure GTM is seen as a rightful competitor to some of the biggest, heavily-backed, multi-million dollar businesses in the industry.  

It might be too much to expect that a company the size of GTM could take on and beat the biggest businesses in the UK.  But I am very grateful for the support of our customers and suppliers which has enabled this David to step into the same ring as several Goliaths

In the event, it wasn’t too much to expect, because the judges decided to award Global Travel Management with one of just two places in the categroy Best Business Travel Agencies 2022.

Speaking after the awards were announced, Scott Pawley said:

The recognition we received by being shortlisted is for the hard work and excellence of the team that makes GTM tick – I am very pleased that everyone in our team knows that their contribution to our success has been recognised.

The judges saw that exceptional work GTM put in during the course of the pandemic. From launching new products and services like our Carbon Offset Programme and PinPoint to the work we put in behind the scenes, campaigning for a better deal from the government during travel bans and making our voices heard in Grant Shapps’ Global Travel Taskforce.

We also closed acquisitions and, with new customers coming on board, we now have more customers than at any point in our history.

It’s a great way to mark 25 years as a travel management company.

The event started with an exclusive afternoon tea party for travel agents and, following a lavish dinner, with entertainment, the awards ceremony took place, with the party continuing until 2am.

Evergreen Pop Idol Will Young took to the stage at the end of the TTG Top 50 awards ceremony, involving the best travel agencies from across the UK.
Global Travel Management’s team celebrating the company’s place in the TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies 2022.

Oneworld members to purchase up to 200 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year from Gevo

Members of the Oneworld Alliance plan to purchase up to 200 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year from Colorado-based renewable fuels producer Gevo, in the second such joint commitment by the global airline alliance in four months.

Delivery of the fuel is expected to commence in 2027, for a five year-term. Oneworld members Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways expect to utilise the sustainable aviation fuel for operations in California including San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles International Airports.

Sustainable aviation fuel is a core pillar in One world’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050. In October 2021, the alliance committed to a target of 10% sustainable aviation fuel use across the alliance by 2030. 

Oneworld members are partnering to collectively source sustainable aviation fuel, through the alliance’s Environment and Sustainability Board chaired by IAG Head of Sustainability Jonathon Counsell with representation from all member airlines.

In November 2021, Oneworld announced a joint commitment to purchase more than 350 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuel from Aemetis for operations at San Francisco – making Oneworld the first global airline alliance to jointly commit to purchasing sustainable aviation fuel.

Gevo’s sustainable aviation fuel is expected to be produced using inedible corn products that will be processed to create ethanol that will then be converted into sustainable aviation fuel.

The sustainable aviation fuel is expected to be produced at three facilities under development in the Midwest of the United States. The entire supply chain will be certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard which is widely recognised as the most robust certification scheme for bioenergy.

Sustainable aviation fuel, which is said to produce significantly lower carbon emissions than traditional jet fuel, is an important part of the aviation sector’s path to decarbonisation, in particular on longer-haul flights.

No changes to current aircraft or airport infrastructure are required for operators to utilise sustainable aviation fuel – making it a feasible and immediate solution to reduce carbon emissions.

However, sustainable aviation fuel is not yet available at scale – underlining the importance of joint commitments like that of Oneworld member airlines. Support from other stakeholders, such as government regulations and targeted investments, will further enable the maturity of sustainable aviation fuel production.

Oneworld Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker said,

As the aviation industry continues to face new challenges, today’s announcement underlines the positive outcome of the multilateral collaboration between industry stakeholders. It reaffirms the leadership of our alliance in supporting the ambitious aviation decarbonisation targets, as well as our active role in driving the use of ICAO recognised SAF at a commercial scale.

Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said,

Five months ago, we committed as an alliance to a target of 10% sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. Today’s announcement of a second major sustainable aviation fuel offtake among member airlines builds further upon that commitment, while demonstrating the value that can be delivered when our member airlines work together.

Dr. Patrick R. Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer said,

When Oneworld member airlines show they understand the importance of reducing fossil-carbon greenhouse gas emissions, they start making real change in the industry.

Eliminating fossil-based emissions from the life-cycle of jet fuel is our mission.

Net-Zero SAF is what we all want.

I’m pleased that Oneworld is on board.

Gevo is focused on sustainability at every stage of production and has developed two alcohol-to-jet pathways that can utilise various feedstocks grown using renewable agricultural and sustainable farming techniques. These feedstocks are then converted, in some cases, to high-value nutrition products and energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons, including sustainable aviation fuel. Gevo’s production processes will incorporate renewable energy, including wind turbines, biogas, and combined heat and power systems to increase efficiency and reduce carbon intensity to net-zero levels, which will then be passed on to the customer through the fuel. This is particularly helpful for airlines seeking to reduce their carbon intensity.