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IATA's Director General Willie WALSH: 'Sustainable Aviation Fuel Costs Are Not a Supply Chain Issue, We Just Don't Have Sufficient Production'

June 07, 2023
IATA's Director General Willie WALSH: 'Sustainable Aviation Fuel Costs Are Not a Supply Chain Issue, We Just Don't Have Sufficient Production'

Hosted by Pegasus Airlines and co-hosted by AnadoluJet, the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit will be held in İstanbul, Türkiye, between June 4-6, 2023.

During today's gathering, IATA's Director General, Willie WALSH, and Chair of the IATA Board, Mehmet Tevfik NANE, made presentations on the Annual Report of the Air Transport Industry and IATA's Board of Governors. Following the opening speeches, they answered the questions of the members of the press.

In line with IATA's 2050 'Fly Net Zero' commitment, Airlines around the globe are doing their best to utilize SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) in their specific flights. Responding to our question on whether IATA has any plans to increase SAF production and support Airlines in solving this challenge. IATA's Director General Willie WALSH emphasized that current SAF prices are not a supply chain issue but due to insufficient production facilities. WALSH pointed out that they focused on ensuring government policies to significantly greater production of SAF and said: "It is not a supply chain issue when it comes to SAF. We just don't have sufficient production facilities producing SAF, and that's why at IATA, we focus on ensuring government policies are there to incentives the building of these facilities so that we can see significantly greater production of SAF.

So, the reason that SAF price is so much higher than the traditional jet kerosene is because it's been produced in low quantities. We believe that this can be addressed, and it will be addressed. Personally, I believe that there will always be a premium for SAF over traditional kerosene, where our economies can see a day when SAF becomes cheaper. When that happens, it will be great. We are continuing to call on governments to understand the opportunity that exists for countries to incentivize the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. As I said in my presentation, Airlines have bought and used every single drop of SAF produced. In 2022, we estimated that came with an additional cost of 350 million USD. Airlines will buy the product or will want to spend more to use the product produced in lower quantities."

Chair of the IATA Board Mehmet Tevfik NANE also stressed that IATA needs the government's support to increase global SAF production. NANE underlined that Aviation is the only industry stating a target zero emissions, yet they are not getting enough support from governments around the world. "So, we need your support, ladies, and gentlemen, at this point. We need your advocacy for the aviation industry. Why? As we mentioned, we are ready to buy any product available for SAF around the globe. However, we are the victims of manufacturers of SAF. Governments are not taking the right regulations in communicating with the aviation industry. So, if there is production, we are the only industry… Last year, ICAO Summit announced the 2050 Carbon Emission Zero Target. When we look at the carbon emissions of the industries, land transportation is around five times more than ours. So, we need your support to lobby on behalf of us. This is not fair. Aviation is the only industry stating a target zero emissions, and we are not getting benefits from this. We are becoming victims of it because of the manufacturers and decisions of the governments not focusing on the aviation industry."


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