American Airlines finalized an agreement with biofuel company Gevo for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Over five years, American has committed to purchasing 500 million gallons of SAF, the most significant SAF offtake commitment to date for the carrier.
“Today’s announcement is a historic step forward for American and our industry as we work to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Jill Blickstein, American’s vice president of Sustainability. “The use of SAF is a cornerstone of our strategy to decarbonize air travel. While this landmark investment represents meaningful action by American Airlines, driving progress at the scale and pace we need requires critical policy action in Washington and at the State level. Alongside our oneworld partners, we’re proud to lead the way in the shift to SAF and make progress toward our shared climate goals.”
American’s Gevo agreement was developed alongside others in the oneworld® alliance. In September 2020, oneworld became the first global airline alliance to announce a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, establishing its commitment to long-term sustainability for the industry. The alliance followed up that commitment with an intermediate goal to achieve 10% SAF use across the member airlines by 2030.
The agreement brings American’s total low-carbon fuel commitments to more than 620 million gallons — fulfilling roughly 20% of the airline’s goal to replace 10% of jet fuel usage with SAF by 2030. The SAF deliveries are expected to begin in 2026 from future commercial operations of Gevo.
“The expansion of the global development of the SAF marketplace has reached an exciting point,” said Dr. Patrick R. Gruber, Gevo’s CEO. “While there is a tremendous amount of work to complete to bring all the critical elements of net-zero carbon SAF to the marketplace, our memoranda of understanding with oneworld alliance members and this subsequent commitment from American Airlines demonstrates the important momentum that is building for these types of products. I’m thrilled that Gevo is poised to continue to provide leadership for this product development.”
American’s aggressive climate goals include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. That includes becoming the first airline globally to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative for its 2035 GHG emissions reduction targets. In 2021, American received a CDP Climate Change score of “A-” — the highest score among airlines in North America, and one of only two airlines globally to score that high. The company’s most recent ESG Report further details its forward-looking goals for the coming years and its progress to date.