Viva Aerobus [VIVACPO:MM], a budget airline from Mexico, has agreed to purchase 1 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Finland’s Neste [NESTE:FH], one of the largest producers of SAF, according to a joint statement by the companies on Monday. The fuel will be used on flights from Los Angeles to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey. This is considered one of the most significant purchases of SAF from a Latin American airline. SAF is more expensive than regular fuel but is crucial in reducing carbon emissions from air travel as it is made from feedstocks like crop residues and animal waste. The companies did not disclose the contract’s value or how many flights the SAF would fuel. The biofuel supply has mainly been limited to the US and Europe, but Latin America has shown interest. Neste is currently in talks with Mexican airport operator ASA and state-run oil producer Pemex to import or produce SAF in the country, but Mexico needs to offer incentives to promote the switch to SAF.
The aviation industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and the use of SAF is one of the most promising strategies. Several major airlines have committed to purchasing large quantities of biofuels over the next few years, and the European Union has set a target of using 5% SAF by 2030. In Mexico, Viva Aerobus is the latest airline to join the trend, following in the footsteps of Aeromexico and Volaris. Neste has signed partnerships with airlines around the world and is exploring opportunities in Asia and the Middle East.