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Boeing and SAA team up in aviation biofuel first for South Africa

US aircraft manufacturer and SA airline collaborate to develop South Africa’s first aviation biofuel supply chain

Aircraft and biofuel feedstock
Boeing and South African Airways have signed a MoU for aviation biofuel supply chain development

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) are working together to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in South Africa. The project is a first in aviation biofuel development for the African continent.

The collaboration between Boeing and SAA has seen the companies sign a memorandum of understanding for sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain development. It is part of the companies' broader efforts to support environmental sustainability for the airline's operations and the commercial aviation industry, in addition to advancing South Africa's social and economic development.

Ian Cruickshank, SAA head of group environmental affairs, said: "South African Airways is taking the lead in Africa on sustainable aviation fuels and, by setting a best practice example, can positively shape aviation biofuel efforts in the region. By working with Boeing's sustainable aviation biofuel team, which has a history of successful partnerships to move lower-carbon biofuels closer to commercialisation, we will apply the best global technology to meet the unique conditions of Southern Africa, diversify our energy sources and create new opportunities for the people of South Africa."

Boeing has collaborated extensively with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to develop road maps for biofuel supply chains in several countries including China. This includes working with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to open an aviation biofuel centre in Beijing. The centre's team will collaborate with China-based universities and research institutions on advancing expertise in aviation biofuels and reducing carbon emissions.

Julie Felgar, managing director of environmental strategy and integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: "Sustainable aviation biofuel will play a central role in reducing commercial aviation's carbon emissions over the long term, and we see tremendous potential for these fuels in Africa. Boeing and South African Airways are committed to investigating feedstocks and pathways that comply with strict sustainability guidelines and can have a positive impact on South Africa's development."