As part of Alaska Airlines' ongoing efforts to fly greener and expand use of sustainable aviation fuels, Neste and Alaska have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). In addition to Alaska's efforts to increase fuel efficiency and adopt flight technology, the agreement will allow Neste and Alaska to more closely work together to design, create and implement solutions that lay the groundwork for the wider adoption of renewable fuels within the airline industry.
Alaska stated it recognizes that the move toward sustainable aviation fuels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce turbine emissions and potentially provide other performance and operational benefits. The companies share the view that closer collaboration within the industry and with key partners will help create the "lift" necessary to help move aviation in the right direction.
"I am delighted to announce our collaboration with Alaska Airlines. We are forerunners in the area of renewable fuels: Neste as a producer, and Alaska as a pioneer in the testing of renewable jet fuel on commercial flights. By working together, we will find the best solutions to secure the success in reaching Alaska's goal to 'fly greener,'" said Kaisa Hietala, Neste's executive vice president in renewable products business area, in a statement.
"At Alaska Airlines, we strive to fly true—true to our values and true to the beautiful places and communities we fly to," said Kirk Myers, Alaska Airlines director of sustainability, in a statement. "We are proud to partner with Neste, the world leader in the production and advancement of renewable jet fuels, to support these efforts to fly more sustainably. This collaboration is another major step toward supporting the health of our communities and ecosystems."
Alaska, working with other airlines, is addressing the reality of climate change by adopting targets to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport. The aviation industry has set ambitious targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from air transportation, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and beyond, and a 50 percent reduction of net aviation CO2 emissions by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.
In addition to the reduction of emissions and as part of its sustainability platform, Alaska noted it is identifying operational efficiencies that will protect the environment. These include efficient aircraft design, optimized approach paths that reduce fuel use, in-cabin recycling and reduced paperwork and paper consumption.
At present, the only viable replacement for fossil jet fuel as an energy source for commercial aviation is sustainable aviation biofuel. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel technology has been proven in thousands of commercial flights and can be adopted by airlines without the need for additional investments in new jet engines or segregated fuel distribution system, according to the company.