The role of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the commercialization of aviation products

The SAF is considered one of the most interesting innovations, and airlines are already beginning to carry out passenger flights with this fuel

(Source: AdobeStock)

But what does this mean for the distribution, marketing and sale of airline products? How should airlines using SAF – and intermediaries selling their inventory – tailor airline products to appeal to B2B buyers and end-travellers with this in mind? And will it start happening soon?

We spoke to a number of experts from across the aviation value chain to get their views and find out some of the challenges our industry will face in making the much-needed transition.

Alice Ferrari of aeronautical technology provider Kyte agrees that SAF is becoming a reality that we need to be prepared for: “The increasing availability and affordability of alternative fuels, such as synthetic kerosene produced from biomass or renewable electricity, are important trends that are reshaping the aviation industry towards greater sustainability.” From a management, measurement and accounting standpoint, this poses new challenges for airlines, and the aeronautical technology sector has We have to respond quickly to that need.There is also the possibility of managing revenue by charging passengers a supplement to pay their share of the SAF who pilots the plane,And with NDC it will be easier to give consumers the option to make this conscious choice, even if they don't book directly through the airline's web or mobile app."

For her part, Emilie Dumont, from Digitrips, owner of MisterFly, the main French multi-product travel platform, confirms that "we closely follow the evolution of practices related to the use of SAF. As intermediaries, our role is to inform customers transparently and allow them to make the most appropriate choice based on their expectations. Many companies have committed to applying policies regarding the use of SAF, and we hope that the proportion of SAF on flights will be incorporated into CO2 calculators as soon as possible, with greater clarity from scientists and airlines. It's still early days, really."

Matthew Chapman of Vibe, a provider of travel booking technology to intermediaries in both the leisure and travel management companies (TMC) sectors, agrees: "Three key trends are driving the use of SAFs as a viable alternative to traditional jet fuels: growing public interest in green initiatives in general, the obligation for large companies to report their carbon footprint to shareholders and other stakeholders, and increasingly stringent government regulations on emissions from commercial aircraft. As a result, TMCs in particular ask us for SAF data, but we are still a long way from being able to provide it in a regular, standardized reporting format. If anyone has a solution for this, pleasePlease contact me."

For his part, Christian Sabbagh, of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) group Travelsoft -owner of distribution platforms such as Traffics, Orchestra and Travel Compositor-, believes that "despite the significant advances in SAF in recent years and the promise of more exciting improvements to come, the general public is not sufficiently familiar with these changes. It is partly a communication problem, so an education and awareness program will be necessary, for which travel agencies and tour operators will they are a good medium, as well as stakeholders to consult. But it is also a technological challenge: few are ready for this yet. The number of intermediaries makes it even more complicated, so direct connection solutions, in addition to the economic advantages,They will better solve this problem once standardized information and metrics are in place, giving those with direct connecting links a considerable advantage that airlines can market hard."

Cheap flight aggregator and travel subscription service WayAway recently polled its 24,000 Instagram followers to ask if they would prefer to fly using SAF and an impressive 73% said yes. But before SAF is adopted more widely, spokesperson Janis Dzenis recalls that "implementation of meaningful SAF options on most flights is still some way off and there is no clear plan for how we will be able to commercialize it, but in the meantime we must remain committed to other means of introducing sustainability into the entire travel experience, including other aspects of the flight such as what is done on the ground, food and drink, etc., as well as in the hotel, in the destination in general, etc."

Source: Belvera Partners.

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