Small airlines bottom of the pile for SAF

Photo: petrmalinak/ Shutterstock

Bigger airlines are being favoured by sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) providers, according to one cargo airline boss.

Astral Aviation founder and chief executive Sanjeev Gadhia said smaller carriers interested in investing in SAF are “at the bottom of the food chain”.

Speaking exclusively to Air Cargo News, Gadhia said: “The reality is the availability of SAF is very limited. “If I went out and asked if I could get some I couldn’t.

“The premium airlines have taken a lot of the SAF output. They’re [the providers] favouring the larger airlines. It’s a really big problem.

“I think to a certain extent cargo is getting left behind. SAF should be available for everyone because if it’s only for the selected few when will the others be able to achieve their sustainability goals?”

He noted that in addition to accessibility, cost is also a barrier to usage, but it isn’t an insurmountable obstacle.

“It’s expensive but we’re ready to pay and we would have certain clients willing to pay extra.

“It might be wishful thinking but as time goes on we expect two things – better accessibility and lower pricing.”

These issues need to be addressed in order for SAF to be successfully rolled out, Gadhia said.

“Otherwise it’s not going to work out. It’s just going to be a PR exercise.”

A number of big name air cargo stakeholders have invested in SAF recently.

DHL Express has launched a new service that will allow customers to reduce carbon emissions associated with their shipments through the use of SAF, supplied by bp and Neste.

Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) has joined forces with technology company Lenovo to create a green logistics service that enables customers to buy carbon reduction credits that support the use of SAF.

Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) has also begun using Neste’s SAF to cut its flight emissions.

Additionally, cargo-specialist Liege Airport and Brussels airport are both now able to offer SAF to airline customers.

Nairobi, Kenya-based cargo airAstral Aviation is one of the airlines that took part in the pilot scheme for TIACA’s BlueSky programme, the air cargo industry’s first multi-sector sustainability verification programme.

“We joined the programme to develop a sustainability strategy,” said Gadhia.

TIACA sustainability programme launch customers announced


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]