JetBlue has launched a new program designed to give climate conscious fliers a chance to help fund the airline’s transition to more environmentally-friendly sustainable aviation fuel.
The airline has partnered with the climate tech company CHOOSE to create a new online platform that allows customers to estimate CO2 emissions from their flights and address those environmentally harmful emissions by making a financial contribution to a fund designed to cover the costs of premium sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for JetBlue.
In a press release about the new program, the airline said “JetBlue views SAF as the most promising avenue for addressing aviation emissions in a meaningful and rapid way—once cost-effective SAF is made available commercially at scale.”
“Produced from a wide array of renewable sources such as agricultural wastes and used cooking oils—not fossil fuels— SAF is a type of renewable fuel that exists today and drops directly into existing aircraft and infrastructure with no impact to safety or performance,” added the airline.
SAF can lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 80 percent compared to traditional petroleum-based fuels while reducing particle and sulfur pollution. In 2022, just 0.3 percent of JetBlue’s fuel consumed was SAF.
The airline said it is aiming to convert 10 percent of its total fuel to SAF by 2030.
“By contributing toward the purchase of additional SAF through CHOOOSE, JetBlue customers and can now send a critical signal of consumer demand for more sustainable air travel options and help grow the emerging SAF market,” JetBlue said. “Supporting and growing SAF availability is critical to increasing this volume and reaching the aviation industry’s emissions reduction goals.”
Additional support is needed in order to grow the market and encourage the economies of scale that are necessary to make eco-friendly fuel more widely available and more cost competitive compared to traditional fuel sources, said JetBlue.
The airline has already been using SAF at its California airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles, partnering with two U.S.-basaed SAF suppliers—Neste and World Energy. JetBlue has also signed agreements with three additional SAF producers for future supply: Aemetis, AIR COMPANY, and Fidelis New Energy.
At the same time, JetBlue is turning to individual customers to help support its efforts to make SAF more widely available in the aviation industry.
“The call from our customers for more sustainable air travel has only gotten louder and louder. We are proud of our industry-leading commitments and actions but recognize reaching our aggressive goals will require the partnership and support of multiple stakeholders,” Sara Bogdan, JetBlue’s director of sustainability and environmental social governance, said in a statement. “With this new platform, customers are now able to measurably reduce the environmental impact of air travel, as well as join their voices with JetBlue and our growing list of partners as we work and advocate for a more sustainable future of aviation.”
The airline’s call for such financial support comes at a time when the majority of travelers say they want more sustainable travel options. More than half of travel consumers consider sustainable tourism options important when making travel purchase decisions, a recent survey from FloWater found. Additionally, 60% would prefer to spend their money at businesses that follow best practices for sustainability. Though it remains to be seen whether travelers will want to help foot the bill for airline fuel costs on this front.
If you’d like to learn more about JetBlue’s SAF program, visit the new program website here.
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