“Greener air travel in Europe requires 300 SAF plants”

European politicians are planning legislation that requires airlines to use more sustainable fuel by 2030. But if we really want sustainable flying to take off in Europe, we need a drastic increase of production capacity for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

According to Paul Abbott, CEO of American Express Global Business Travel, 300 SAF plants would need to be built, if the industry wanted to get to (as a practical example) 10 percent sustainable fuel by 2030. If production capacity is not increased drastically, Abbott stated, the plan of the European Commission to set rules that require airlines to fill planes with a certain amount of sustainable aviation fuel in the future, is doomed to fail.

Skift reports that Abbott was one of the speakers at the Global Business Travel Association’s inaugural Sustainability Summit in Brussels. The Amex CEO said the industry now needs to figure out how to find $90 billion, with a decision needed to be taken this year or next, in order to start building the plants in 2024 or 2025. Abbott offers doubts whether there are enough financial incentives to scale up the production of SAF fast enough.