Cebu Pacific operates PH’s first commercial flight powered by sustainable fuel

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — Cebu Pacific on Wednesday operated the country’s first commercial flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Cebu Pacific Chief Strategy Officer Alex Reyes said SAF would help the aviation industry reduce its carbon emissions.

“We encourage more producers to increase the supply of SAF in the region. Our first passenger flight using SAF is a culmination of months of cooperation with valued partners and is an important component of our sustainability program,” he added.

Cebu Pacific and Shell Aviation signed a memorandum of agreement on Tuesday which committed the latter to provide the airline with 25,000 metric tons of SAF for a period of five years.

The airline’s first SAF-powered commercial flight from Singapore to Manila was operated with an Airbus A321 NEO (new engine option) using 35 percent blended SAF.

Cebu Pacific first used SAF in May for a delivery flight of a new airline unit from France to the Philippines.

SAF, which is manufactured from 100% renewable waste and raw materials such old cooking oil and animal fat waste, is a "drop-in" replacement for fossil fuels, the airline said.

Using SAF reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% over the span of the fuel's life cycle.

The chemical and physical characteristics of SAF are almost identical to those of conventional jet fuel, and these can be safely mixed with regular jet fuel to varying degrees.

SAF does not require any adaptations to the aircraft or engines and does not have any negative impact on performance or maintenance.

Blended SAF will be part of the standard procedures in all Cebu Pacific’s future Airbus NEO deliveries.

As part of the airline’s sustainability efforts, Cebu Pacific aims to transition to an all-NEO fleet by 2028 and incorporate the use of blended SAF for its entire commercial network by 2030.

The airline’s sustainability goal is aligned with global aviation’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.