As part of its sustainability initiative, European budget carrier Wizz Air, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cepsa to support its Spanish route network.
The proposal is for the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from 2025. The MoU gives Wizz Air the opportunity to purchase SAF from Cepsa to supply the airline’s route network across Spain.
Wizz Air currently operates flights from Europe and beyond to Alicante, Barcelona El Prat, Bilbao, Castellon (Valencia), Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), Ibiza, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Santander, Seville, Tenerife (Canary Islands), Valencia and Zaragoza.
Initiative at Seville Airport
The partnership follows an initiative that was run at Seville Airport in November 2022, when Wizz Air was among the airlines operating around 220 flights from the airport over one week using SAF produced by Cepsa at its La Rábida Energy Park in Huelva.
This was the first time that the supply of SAF at this magnitude has been seen at an airport in southern Europe.
It was also the first time in Spain that the entire value chain was certified traceable by the ISCC (International Sustainability Carbon Certification) system from the production of the sustainable fuel to the actual supply.
In 2022, the airline achieved its lowest ever annual carbon intensity, which amounted to 55.2 grams, 15% lower than in 2021.
Fleet renewal programme
Wizz Air has been continuously adding new Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet and replacing older aircraft, with the share of new “neo” technology aircraft already surpassing 50% of Wizz Air’s fleet.
The new Airbus A321neo aircraft incorporates the latest technology, offering significant environmental benefits and can currently fly with up to 50% SAF blend.
In addition to its ambitious fleet renewal programme, Wizz Air is constantly working on fuel efficiency initiatives and improving the related data analytics.
As one of the main producers and suppliers of aviation fuels in the Spanish market, this new agreement consolidates Cepsa’s aim to become a leader in the clean energy sector and to spearhead the decarbonisation of air transport.
As part of its new strategic plan, Positive Motion, Cepsa is developing an ecosystem focused on accelerating the decarbonisation of industrial customers and air and maritime transport, as well as the company itself, through the production of green molecules, mainly renewable hydrogen and biofuels.
Cepsa aspires to be the leading biofuel producer in Spain and Portugal by 2030 with a production capacity of 2.5 million tons annually, with a particular focus on the sustainability of air traffic by having an annual production capacity of 800,000 tonnes of SAF.
Ian Malin, Executive Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer at Wizz Air, said:
“We are excited to partner with Cepsa, a renowned energy company, to establish a SAF supply chain for Wizz Air in Spain.”
“In addition to flying the world’s most sustainable fleet, we are making biofuel a key element to maintaining our leadership in sustainability and exceeding our commitment to reduce carbon intensity by 25% by 2030.”
Tobi Pardo, Cepsa’s Director of Aviation, said:
“At Cepsa we are committed to creating solutions that make air transport more sustainable and partnerships like the one with Wizz Air to develop SAF are absolutely fundamental in our joint decarbonisation journey with our clients.”
News of the latest SAF procurement follows a recent agreement with Neste for the supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel from 2025 onwards.
This agreement gave the airline the opportunity to purchase 36,000 tons of Neste-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per annum over a period of three years.
This SAF reserve will be then used across Wizz Air’s route network in Europe and the UK. With the latest announcement, Wizz Air continues a strong sustainability agenda across it’s overall route network.