UK Government Pins Jet Zero Strategy on Ambitious SAF Targets

On Saturday the 22nd of July, at roughly 7 pm local time, the highly contested ‘Climate Clock’ that looms over New York’s Union Square passed a critical milestone. The time left to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C – the ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – dropped from six years to five. At the very same time, on the other side of the globe, Greece faced its sixth day of wildfires as temperatures surged to 46.6C. Videos of roaring fires and towering black smoke continue to circulate online from Rhodes and Corfu, offering a glimpse at what it can look like when the climate crisis takes holidaymakers by surprise. 

If last weekend proved anything, it’s that it does not matter whether you are standing in the city centre of New York, or sitting on your favourite beach in Greece, you are never too far from a reminder that the climate crisis is an unfortunate, yet very present reality. While we agree that these events should inspire the biggest polluters of our society to do more for the environment, we also believe in stepping away from climate doomism. Instead, we believe in drawing attention to current events in order to encourage efficacy building among our stakeholders and make a tangible, credible difference where we can. 

The climate crisis does not have to stop tourism. Now, if ever, it is important to show that it is possible to travel in a climate-resilient way. It is critical that the aviation sector plays its part in delivering the UK’s net zero commitment and that the government proves that it is supporting a variety of technologies, fuels, and market-based measures to address aviation emissions. The recent ‘Jet Zero Strategy: One Year On’ policy paper (published 20th July 2023) from the UK Governments Department of Transport offers, if anything, a glimmer of encouragement during a challenging time. 

Under the Jet Zero Strategy High Ambition scenario, 17% of the required emission reductions in 2050 will come from SAF, 15% from fuel efficiency improvements, 4% from zero-carbon aircraft, 27% from ETS and CORSIA and 37% from abatement outside the sector. Here is how the government plans to implement the use of SAF in the immediate future: 

• In Summer 2023, they will launch the UK SAF Clearing House to begin supporting the testing and approval of innovative new fuels. They will also announce the winners of the second application round of the Advanced Fuels Fund. 

• Further progress on the consideration of options for additional revenue certainty for a UK SAF industry. This would need to be provided via an industry funded intervention and if required, they will launch a formal government consultation later this summer. 

• Negotiate to secure strong outcomes from the ICAO 3rd Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) in November, including a quantified target for the global uptake of SAF that reflects its key role in meeting net zero by 2050, and a robust framework to support states with its development and deployment.  

• By the end of 2023, publish the government response to the second SAF mandate consultation and support Virgin Atlantic to successfully operate the world’s first transatlantic flight on 100% SAF, from London to New York. 

• Build on the success of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow SAF Ambassadors Group by utilising the group to further support our international SAF ambitions.  

• In 2025, bring the SAF mandate into force and complete the funding period for projects supported by the Advanced Fuels Fund. 

Moreover, thousands of young people from across the North West will learn about the sustainable future of flying, thanks to a new education programme being delivered at Manchester Airport’s AeroZone. Starting in the next academic year, the Northern hub’s sustainability experts will deliver ‘Jet Zero Education’ lessons at the on-site AeroZone educational facility to dozens of schools from their surrounding areas. Through the use of interactive technology, students will learn how Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) is produced, and the benefits it will bring in reducing aircraft emissions which will help meet the aviation industry’s target of net zero by 2050. This news comes just after the announcement that the owner of British Airways has made a significant investment in a SAF producer located in Teesside. 

This news comes at an important time for Victor as we recently celebrated 300 jet charter bookings with SAF (284 private jets charter, 16 commercial jet charters). Last month we marked a significant milestone in our journey as we recognised one year of our pioneering partnership with Neste – the world’s leading producer of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). We are very proud of the results achieved during this time, which collectively reinforce the impact we can make when we offer a better way to fly. 

Since June 2022, when we launched the first direct-to-consumer SAF blueprint with Neste, 1 in 5 Victor customers have voluntarily purchased an average of £965 worth of Neste MY SAF™ for their private jet charter bookings. This resulted in an average emission reduction of 1.5 tonnes per booking, with 30% of fossil fuels being replaced by SAF per booking. These figures prove that a significant number of flyers are willing to take responsibility for their carbon emissions and are willing to pay more when offered a credible and transparent SAF solution. 

Figures from our one year anniversary with Neste

With Neste, we believe the voluntary market can make an immediate and significant contribution, given the availability of SAF volumes. Encouraged by the positive results of our partnership, we are now advocating for commercial airlines and airline ticket websites to adopt a similar model and offer SAF as an option during the booking process. 

Based on the partnership’s results, if 1 in 5 scheduled airline passengers voluntarily replaced 30% of fossil fuel with SAF (similar to Victor’s experience), SAF would account for approximately 18 million tonnes of the total 300 million tonnes of global jet fuel usage annually. This aligns with IATA’s stated SAF demand needed in 2030 for the aviation sector to achieve net zero by 2050. 

For more information about how we are championing the use of SAF, please visit our dedicated webpage here – Otherwise, reach out to one of our Account Managers at