Ryanair Firms 1,000 Tonne Purchase of Shell SAF for Stansted

A Ryanair Boeing 737 with new Scimitar winglets.
Photo Credit: Ryanair

Ryanair, Europe’s major low-cost airline, announced a significant step towards its sustainability goals this week with the firming of a SAF procurement.

The airline has purchased 1,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Shell, a major energy supplier. This initial purchase is enough to power over 200 flights between Stansted Airport and Madrid.

The supply of SAF will be provided to the carrier at its London Stansted Airport base.

Ryanair-Shell Agreement

This move builds upon a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2022. The agreement grants Ryanair preferential access to purchase up to 360,000 tonnes of SAF from Shell between 2025 and 2030.

On December 1st, 2022, Ryanair and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Sustainable Aviation Research Centre in Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

This large-scale commitment could result in a reduction of up to 900,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. *(Note 1).

The announcement coincides with an event showcasing Ryanair’s decarbonization efforts. This initiative underlines the airline’s unwavering commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Ryanair has already made considerable progress towards its sustainability goals. The airline continues to collaborate with Trinity College Dublin’s Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre.

Ryanair has also made significant investments in acquiring new, fuel-efficient aircraft. These include a $22 billion commitment to the “Gamechanger” fleet, which boasts a 16% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, a $40 billion investment secured 300 Boeing 737 MAX-10 airplanes, offering a 20% decrease in CO2 emissions and a 50% noise reduction, all while carrying 21% more passengers.

Comments at Stansted Airport

Ryanair’s Director of Sustainability and Finance, Thomas Fowler, emphasized the company’s leadership role in sustainable aviation during a speech at Stansted Airport.

“Ryanair remains at the forefront of sustainable aviation practices,” Fowler stated. “As showcased today at Stansted, we are heavily invested in decarbonizing our operations.”

“Our commitment is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer by 2031. We utilize SAF, the latest engine technology, and electric ground handling equipment to achieve these goals.”

“Our collaboration with partners like Shell and MAG is crucial to reaching these objectives. This initial purchase of 1,000 tonnes of SAF from Shell exemplifies this commitment.”

“We remain dedicated to working with all our partners to make every Ryanair flight as environmentally friendly as possible,” Fowler concluded.

A view across a Ryanair 737 wing at sunset.
Bene Riobó, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shell’s General Manager for Aviation Europe and South Africa, Ashleigh McDougall, expressed satisfaction at the partnership’s progress.

“Shell is thrilled to begin supplying sustainable aviation fuel to Ryanair at Stansted Airport,” McDougall said.

“This collaboration allows a valued customer to reduce emissions on flights departing from a key U.K. transportation hub.”

“We signed a Memorandum of Understanding to supply SAF to Ryanair in 2022, and we’re pleased to see those intentions translate into action.”

“Shell remains committed to supporting our customers on their journeys towards decarbonization.”

(Note 1) based on the lifecycle CO2 emissions reduction from using neat SAF versus conventional jet being up to 80%


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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