United’s Sustainable Flight Fund grows to nearly $200M, adds strategic partners
July 26, 2023
By United Airlines
Fund was launched in February to rally businesses and consumers to support the supply of sustainable aviation fuel – more than 60,000 customers have contributed.
The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund – a way for companies and consumers to come together and increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the support of start-ups – has increased its investment power to nearly US$200 million and added eight new corporate partners, five months after its initial launch.
American Express Global Business Travel, Aramco Ventures, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Groupe ADP, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Ventures, will join inaugural fund partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell.
United customers also have the option to contribute to supplement the airline’s investment in the UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM when they book flights. Since the fund launched, more than 60,000 United customers have contributed a total of more than $200,000.
SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a lifecycle basis, reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone. To date, United has invested in the future production of over five billion gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world.
“While United can’t decarbonize the airline industry alone, we can use our leadership and credibility in this space to rally others to join us,” said United Airlines Ventures president Michael Leskinen. “Our new and inaugural participants demonstrate the impressive commitment within aviation and beyond to reduce our carbon footprint and combat the threat of climate change. As companies across the globe are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact from flying, the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund presents a unique opportunity – instead of fighting over the current limited supply of SAF, with our partners, we’re working collaboratively to help scale the SAF industry itself, and to get an equity stake in groundbreaking technology while doing it.”
United will continue to recruit corporations across industries to join the fund and will prioritize investment in new technology, advanced fuel sources, and proven producers – all in an effort to help scale the supply of SAF. Partners also have the potential to gain preferential access to environmental attributes associated with United’s future supply of SAF.
SAF, which currently must be blended with conventional jet fuel to meet regulatory requirements for use within the aircraft, is being made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and, in the future, could be made from other feedstocks including household trash or forest waste. Through the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, United intends to invest in a variety of SAF feedstocks and technologies. With the right policy incentives to produce SAF, United’s efforts could help build a future of sustainable flight.
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