Alaska Airlines Finalizes Deal For 185 Million Gallons Of SAF


  • Alaska 737-800

    Alaska Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    AS / ASA

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Anchorage International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Portland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

    Year Founded:
    1932

    Alliance:
    oneworld

    CEO:
    Ben Minicucci

    Country:
    United States

Previously in March, the oneworld alliance and most of its member airlines had quite a unique partnership with the biofuel company Gevo Incorporated, which saw the member airlines develop plans to purchase hundreds of millions of gallons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). One of these member airlines was Alaska Airlines, which announced today that it finalized an agreement with Gevo to purchase 185 million gallons of SAF.

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The gigantic agreement

By agreeing to purchase that many gallons of SAF, this considerable agreement is the most significant off-take commitment that Alaska Airlines has ever embarked on. The agreement also further strengthens the partnership between Alaska Airlines and Gevo, which began back in 2016 when the airline demonstrated the use of the first cellulosic renewable jet fuel specified for use on a commercial airline flight.

Ann Ardizzone, Vice President of supply chain at Alaska Airlines, celebrated:

“Alaska Airlines is proud to contribute to advancing this critical market for SAF. Making SAF commercially viable at scale requires strong partners and action on all fronts. We appreciate the partnership of suppliers like Gevo in tackling this challenge.”

Continued support from Alaska Airlines unquestionably aids Gevo’s pursuit of creating and commercializing a billion gallons of SAF by 2030, as renewable fuel remains limited and expensive. Unlike typical biofuel production, Gevo utilizes waste starch from field corn once used to produce high-protein animal feed. The waste products are fermented into alcohol and then chemically converted to a renewable jet fuel through proprietary processes.


Alaska Airlines became the oneworld alliance’s newest member in 2021. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Gevo is expected to deliver the gallons of SAF to Alaska Airlines over a span of five years, beginning in 2026. CEO Dr. Patrick Gruber said:

“As we continue to grow our partnerships with oneworld airlines, I’m personally gratified to see that Alaska Airlines has joined our list of partners. When Alaska Airlines receives fuel from one of our Net-Zero facilities, they will do so, having been a part of some of our critical initial testing and delivery of sustainable aviation fuel. “

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Commitment to sustainability

Last year, Alaska Airlines announced its commitment to achieving carbon net zero by 2040, intending to become the most sustainable and fuel-efficient US carrier. The airline then proceeded to draw out a five-part map to achieve it. The map includes operational efficiency, fleet renewal, the incorporated use of SAF, and the possible use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft over the long term.

Based on its map, it was made apparent that using SAF provided the quickest and most significant opportunity to decarbonize, as confirmed by Diana Birkett Rakow, Senior Vice President of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines:

“SAF is the most immediate path we have toward decarbonization of aviation, but we recognize there is significant work required ahead – including public policy action – to make SAF a viable, affordable option at scale.”

Alaska Airlines have remained focused on finding any alternative that assists in reducing emissions and consistently prioritizes programs that help it safely burn less fuel. Photo: Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Besides relying solely on biofuel suppliers, the Seattle-based airline has been working for over a decade to research, test, and use various forms of SAF to ensure the variety available for the near future continues developing. The latest in its efforts include partnering with software company Microsoft and another biofuel company, Twelve. Together, the trio is planning to try flying an aircraft on jet fuel made from carbon dioxide and water. With so many initiatives having been adopted since establishing its commitment just a year ago, Alaska Airlines is forging ahead to become a sustainable airline.


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