CEBU PACIFIC aims to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) across its commercial network by 2030 as part of its commitment to help the aviation sector achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“We have to rely on technologies to decarbonize. We see that SAF will provide the bulk of carbon emissions reduction in the decade ahead. Our estimate, the industry estimate is probably about two-thirds of the net carbon reduction will come from the use of SAF,” Alex B. Reyes, chief strategy officer of Cebu Pacific, said during the Aviation Summit last week.

The International Air Transport Association has estimated that SAF will contribute 65% of carbon emissions reduction.

For this year, Cebu Pacific aims to assess market acceptance and engage with stakeholders to develop future SAF supply ahead of its planned integration into regular commercial flights by 2030.

SAF can help reduce emissions from air transportation as it is made from nonpetroleum feedstock like agricultural waste and used vegetable oil. Although SAF is seen as a sustainable fuel, it is not a zero-carbon but a lower carbon emissions fuel compared with traditional jet fuel.

The price of SAF is currently at a premium, Mr. Reyes said, pointing to low production for the high cost.

Aside from SAF, the company is also willing to explore other emerging technologies like hydrogen fuel, which can further ramp up decarbonization goals.

Liquid hydrogen can also be used to power aircraft and is also being put forward as a potential low-carbon fuel for aviation.

Mr. Reyes said the difficulty with hydrogen is the need for new storage processes that can be brought onboard the aircraft to store and carry the fuel in liquid form.

“Hydrogen is still a long way off, it is probably at least a decade away before we actually see aircraft flying with hydrogen as a fuel,” he said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose