Delta Makes Deal To Buy Sustainable Fuel From Gevo

Airline says collaboration with biofuel maker is key to cutting aviation emissions.

Delta expects to receive about 75 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel each year for seven years. [Courtesy: Delta Airlines]

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) said it entered an agreement with biofuel company Gevo under which it expects to receive about 75 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, annually for seven years.

The deal, which has an anticipated start time of mid-2006, is meant to help Delta reach its goal of fueling 10 percent of its operations with sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2030.

“SAF is existing technology that is crucial for the industry to achieve its net-zero goals,” said Pam Fletcher, Delta’s chief sustainability officer. “SAF is our best opportunity today for meaningful reductions in emissions from air travel, but the market needs investment and engagement from all stakeholders,” she added.

In order to meet its 10 percent SAF commitment, Delta says it would need to secure 400 million gallons a year by the end of 2030. The airline said it would need about 4 billion gallons annually to operate on SAF alone. Reaching these goals would also require massive increases in production of sustainable fuel. Delta says the SAF on the market today is enough for a single day of its operations at pre-pandemic levels.

Still, Delta says the airline industry needs SAF as part of its overall plan to reduce carbon emissions. The company said it purchased more than 300,000 gallons of SAF in 2021 as part of a program to further develop the fuel.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4
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