United Airlines alongside five corporate partners are launching a new fund to invest in start-up firms to expand the availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund will start with $100 million (€94 million) invested by United Airlines, Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase and Honeywell.
“This fund is unique. It’s not about offsets or things that are just greenwashing. Instead, we’re creating a system that drives investment to build a new industry around sustainable aviation fuel, essentially from scratch,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said.
SAF, which is made using feedstocks that include used cooking oil and agricultural waste, is widely viewed as the aviation industry’s best option for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge is figuring out how to increase the supply of SAF while lowering the cost.
Currently, the supply of SAF is limited and it is typically two to four times more expensive than jet fuel.
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed last year by President Joe Biden, includes a blended fuels tax credit as an incentive for the development and use of SAF.
The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund will allow United and the other inaugural investors the chance to play a larger role in start-ups developing and expanding access to SAF. Partners in the fund will also be eligible for access to environmental attributes that will go with United’s supply of SAF.
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