United onboards more partners in Sustainable Flight Fund

A United Airlines jet with Sustainable Flight logo
Photo Credit: United Airlines

United Airlines has announced the expansion of its Sustainable Flight Fund, with key corporate partners joining forces to drive the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and reduce emissions.

With 22 corporate partners now onboard, including many industry leaders, the Sustainable Flight Fund has amassed over $200 million in capital.

This collaborative effort represents a collective determination to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices within the aviation industry.

Sustainable Flight Fund

United Airlines’ Sustainable Flight Fund now boasts a diverse array of corporate partners, including Aircastle, Air New Zealand, Embraer, Google, HIS, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Safran Corporate Ventures, and Technip Energies.

This coalition represents various sectors of the aviation supply chain, united by a shared commitment to sustainability.

With over 22 corporate partners onboard, the Fund has garnered more than $200 million in investments, demonstrating a resounding vote of confidence in its mission.

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The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is amongst recent signees to the Fund. Leonardo Garnica, head of corporate innovation at Embraer, describes the key benefit of a unified collective saying:

“In a joint collaborative effort with our partners, we can accelerate large-scale SAF production as the aviation industry progresses toward the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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A sustainable aviation fuel logo on the side of an aircraft.
Photo Credit: Embraer

Fueling Sustainable Solutions

Since its inception in February 2023, the Sustainable Flight Fund has emerged as a trailblazer in the realm of aviation venture funds.

Unlike any other initiative, it is specifically dedicated to identifying and supporting start-ups focused on advancing SAF technology and feedstock development.

By nurturing innovation in this critical area, the Fund aims to bolster the supply of SAF and accelerate its adoption across the industry.

United Airlines recognizes the importance of engaging consumers in its sustainability efforts. Through its website and mobile app, the airline offers passengers the opportunity to contribute to the Sustainable Flight Fund before completing their booking.

With options to donate $1, $3.50, or $7.00, travelers can play a direct role in supporting the development of sustainable aviation solutions.

This inclusive approach underscores United’s commitment to transparency and collaboration in addressing climate change.

United and United Airlines Ventures (UAV)

Milestones and Progress

Since its launch, the Sustainable Flight Fund has made significant strides towards its goals. With over 115,000 contributions totaling nearly $500,000, the Fund has garnered widespread support within the community.

Moreover, United’s investments have positioned it as a leader in SAF production, with commitments exceeding five billion gallons – a testament to the airline’s dedication to environmental stewardship.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) plays a major intrinsic role in the drive towards for aviation sustainability.

Compared to conventional jet fuel, SAF can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80%. Increasing the availability and utilization of SAF is paramount in mitigating the environmental impact of air travel.

Building a Sustainable Future

Andrew Chang, Managing Director of United Airlines Ventures, emphasizes the urgency of the airline’s sustainability efforts. He underscores the pivotal role of SAF in decarbonizing aviation and acknowledges the need for concerted action to scale up its production.

“As part of our effort to build a new sustainable aviation ecosystem, we recruited a group of partners with the industry expertise to support our startups with both financial and strategic capital, to help them navigate the entire process from conception to commercialization,” explained Chang.

By leveraging the expertise of its corporate partners, United is spearheading the creation of a robust sustainable aviation ecosystem, poised to transform the industry for the better.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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