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First 100% SAF transatlantic flight readies for take-off

Release date:
August 2023
With the world’s first 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)-fuelled transatlantic flight due to take to the skies in November, Air bp is pleased to be working with the Virgin Atlantic-led consortium to supply the 60 tonnes of SAF required for research, testing and the flight itself. 


Following a successful SAF blend ground test on the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine, the transatlantic flight operated by Virgin Atlantic is now scheduled to take place on 28 November, 2023. The Boeing 787 aircraft will fly across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York John F. Kennedy. 


Air bp is collaborating with Virent to supply the SAF which will be used to fuel the flight. The SAF will be produced through the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) pathway as well as synthetic aromatic kerosene (SAK) SAF at an 88% and 12% blend ratio. 


While SAF is recognised as having a vital role to play in aviation’s decarbonisation, current SAF regulations only allow for a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The historic Virgin Atlantic flight in November will demonstrate the potential of SAF as a 100% drop-in replacement for fossil fuel today. It will also enable the consortium to address other environmental impacts of the sector and underlines the importance of wider collaboration in doing so.   


“SAF is currently the most viable option to help us meet the industry’s net zero ambition and in the short and medium term it will be the only option for long-haul flights. Moving our industry and policy towards the use of 100% SAF is important as we work in collaboration with key stakeholders to help decarbonise aviation.”  Andreea Moyes, global aviation sustainability director, Air bp.


For more on Air bp’s SAF, please click here.