Alaska Airlines signs SAF deal with Shell Aviation

A fueler services an Alaska Airlines aircraft before flight.
Photo Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines, America’s fifth largest domestic carrier has today announced an agreement that will lay the foundations for the future of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development and investment.

Signed with worldwide fuel giant, Shell Aviation the announcement outlines plans for the companies to work together to advance the sustainable fuel technologies of the future.

“Alaska Airlines has set our course to net zero by 2040 and sustainable aviation fuels represent the greatest near-term opportunity to make a step-level change on that journey,” said Diana Birkett-Rakow, Senior Vice President for public affairs and sustainability at Alaska. 

At the top of the list will be improving the infrastructure and developing the technology and carbon accounting systems needed to bring SAF to the wider market at a lesser costs than it does now. Presently,  sustainable aviation fuel costs 50% more than conventional jet fuel.

Preparing to scale up

“That’s why we’ve pioneered SAF technologies for more than a decade. But we can’t scale the market alone.”

“We’re excited to take this next step in the journey with Shell, to leverage their deep knowledge of the energy industry, its infrastructure requirements and supply chain to make lower lifecycle carbon SAF more widely available for the future.” Burkett Rakow continued.

The deal will focus on improving the ability to supply both the West Coast Pacific Northwest regions on the United States with SAF. 


“We’re excited to expand our strong relationship with Alaska and amplify our efforts to help decarbonize aviation through SAF supply on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jan Toschka, president of Shell Aviation

Along with numerous other airlines, Alaska Air has set itself an ambitious sustainability target, one that challenges the airline to be at net zero emissions by 2040. Ten years earlier than the industry target of 2050.

Toschka also commented on how the collaboration between the two can enable the smooth transition into a more Sustainable Aviation Fuel focussed environment:

”We need support from the entire ecosystem to build a sustainable future for aviation. This deep level of collaboration will help us put the technologies and supply chain in place to advance the industry.”

Collaboration between to major players

Celebrating the deal between the two companies, Ann Ardizzone, VP of strategic sourcing and supply chain management at Alaska Airlines said: ”With Shell’s world-class fuel supply chain and deep technical knowledge, we’re aiming to transform West Coast fuel supply.”

“By leveraging the fuel infrastructure expertise of a major fuel producer, we can advance SAF access in more markets, accelerating the market scale of SAF to reach our environmental goals.”

As well as the deal to work together to advance technology and improve infrastructure, Alaska Airlines has agreed to purchase ten million gallons of neat SAF from Shell Aviation that will be supplied to LAX airport in Los Angeles. 

This is the second deal of its kind that Shell has signed in a week, AviationSource News reported last week that JetBlue had agreed a similar deal for SAF.

By Jamie Stokes 4 Min Read
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