Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) announced last week that Bolloré Logistics has joined its Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) program, and together the two companies will launch the first low-carbon air freight route between France and the United States. Over the course of 2021, the use of SAF on flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), France, and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), USA, carrying Bolloré shipments, will help to cut CO₂ emissions by at least 50%. CFG wanted to know more and interviewed Frederik van de Ven (FvdV), Sustainability Lead at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.
The press release cited an explanation of the Cargo SAF Program by Christophe Boucher, EVP Air France Cargo: “The Cargo SAF Program enables shippers and forwarders to power a percentage of their flights with SAF. Customers determine their own level of engagement and we ensure that their entire investment is used for sourcing SAF. I’m delighted to see the speed at which Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Bolloré Logistics have come to an agreement on the use of our SAF program, launched a few weeks ago. I’m proud that together we are trendsetters in a field that will grow in our companies and in society.”
Sustainability is at the core of both companies’ strategies
It went on to quote Thierry Ehrenbogen, CEO of Bolloré Logistics: “Reducing carbon emissions is a major challenge in the air freight transportation industry and Bolloré Logistics is committed to addressing this with innovative solutions. In 2021, the company has committed itself to reducing scope 3 CO₂ emissions linked to the performance of its transport services by 30% by 2030. We believe that Sustainable Aviation Fuel is one of the key factors in reaching this ambitious objective,” referring to Bolloré’s own “Powering Sustainable Logistics” CSR program, which in turn offers its customers “cutting-edge solutions to drastically reduce the environmental impact of freight transportation,” including the use of clean trucks, maximum use of reusable consumables, and – of course – SAF.
The more companies commit, the faster SAF can take off
“I’m pleased with the clear commitment of Bolloré to join forces in making flying more sustainable by participating in the AFKLMP Cargo SAF program. Only with such investments will we successfully develop a more viable market for Sustainable Aviation Fuel,” Adriaan den Heijer, EVP Air France-KLM Cargo and
Managing Director Martinair, stated and the press release underlined that “Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Bolloré Logistics are looking forward to developing this collaboration and expanding the number of routes using Sustainable Aviation Fuel, with growing participation from other major international customers.”
Tell us more, Frederik van de Ven!
CFG wanted to know more about the Cargo SAF Program, and asked Frederik van de Ven (FvdV), Sustainability Lead at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, to provide greater detail.
CFG: In your press release, it states “To power a percentage of their flights with SAF, customers determine their own level of engagement…” How can customers do
FvdV: Based on the weight of air freight shipped during a year (JAN to DEC inclusive), our customers opt to reduce an amount of CO₂ emissions on the Origin & Destination (O&D) of their choice. AFKLMP Cargo then calculates the corresponding amount of SAF needed to reach the reduction of CO₂ emissions requested by our customers. Our calculation methodology takes into consideration that SAF is able to reduce up to 85% of CO₂ emissions (no technologies are, for the time being, capable of reducing more than 85% of CO₂ emissions).
CFG: The release goes on to say “…we ensure that their entire investment is used for sourcing SAF.” How is this documented?
FvdV: The program has no intention of making any profit margin; all contributions go to SAF sourcing and development. When investing in SAF, our customers receive a report every year, audited by a third party, confirming the purchased amount of SAF and indicating the achieved reduction in CO₂.
CFG: How much of each AF-KL-MP flight to NYC do you expect to be powered by SAF?
FvdV: Bolloré is the first partner to power shipments with SAF on flights to NYC. At least 60% of all air freight shipped by Bolloré Logistics with us will be powered by SAF to drastically reduce CO₂ emissions (50% CO₂ reduction) throughout 2021.
CFG: Has AFKLMP Cargo signed any contracts with partnering shippers or other forwarders already?
FvdV: Next to Bolloré, also Kuehne Nagel joined the Cargo SAF Program to reduce CO₂ emissions, and we are expecting more partners to join us soon. We can only make a change if we do this together as an industry!
CFG: And are you targeting a one-way solution (East > West) or both ways?
FvdV: The first step in this partnership is to reduce CO₂ emissions on the westbound flight, as Bolloré Logistics is primarily shipping air freight from Europe to the US.
CFG: Does the SAF collaboration include flights departing from Paris CDG only or is AMS also part of the program?
FvdV: This collaboration with Bolloré is set up to reduce CO₂ emissions on shipments between France (i.e. CDG) and the U.S. (i.e. JFK). The Cargo SAF Program is a program available on each lane flown by AFKLMP Cargo.
CFG: When exactly will the mission start and who provides the fuel?
FvdV: SAF usage has already started and will operate at least for the full year of 2021. AFKLMP Cargo purchases SAF from different suppliers such as SkyNRG and Neste, to name just a few.
CFG: What is the current price difference between Jet A-1 and SAF (per liter)?
FvdV: One of the goals of AFKLMP Cargo in launching this program, is to make SAF more available. The more demand for SAF, the higher the production of SAF. And, of course, having more SAF available, the lower the price for SAF. In 2009, when SAF was completely new to the aviation sector, the price was 15 times higher than fossil fuel (jet A-1). The first reduction in the SAF price occurred when World Energy built a SAF production facility in LAX in 2018. It was the first time in history that SAF could be produced on a constant basis. Today, the current price of SAF is two to three times more expensive than fossil fuel (jet A-1).
So, in just over 10 years, the SAF price has already come down significantly. That sounds promising. Thank you, Frederik van de Ven, for your insights, and we look forward to hearing about more customers joining the Cargo SAF Program soon.
Heiner Siegmund & Brigitte Gledhill
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