A SIGNIFICANT investment will be made by Qantas to expedite the establishment of the aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia, via a new landmark agreement signed with Airbus.
The two aviation companies will jointly invest A$288 million (A$72 million from Qantas) over five years, a move that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said would help lower the local aviation sector’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, which has seen its price spiral upwards in recent months.
“Without swift action, Australia is at risk of being left behind,” Joyce argued.
“This investment will help kickstart a local biofuels industry in Australia and hopefully encourage additional investment from governments and other business and build more momentum for the industry as a whole,” he added.
The agreement will see Qantas invest in locally developed and produced SAF and feedstock initiatives, with designs on lowering its need to source SAF from overseas markets and drive down costs over the longer term.
Projects will have to be commercially viable and meet a strict set of criteria around environmental sustainability.
Qantas has committed to using 10% SAF in its overall fuel mix by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050, with the latest deal viewed as an important pillar in reaching these objectives.
Joyce added that the deal would also need government support to help SAF production get off the ground and prevent the cost of travel rising in the future.
“We’ve had some encouraging discussions with the incoming Australian Government given their strong focus on emissions reduction and look forward to that progressing,” he said.