United Airlines Sustainable Flight Fund Grows to Nearly US$200 Million

Image: United Airlines

The United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund – a way for companies and consumers to come together and increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the support of start-ups – has increased its investment power to nearly US$200 million and added eight new corporate partners, five months after its initial launch.

United customers also have the option to contribute to supplement the airline’s investment in the UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM when they book flights. Since the fund launched, more than 60,000 United customers have contributed a total of more than US$200,000.

In a statement, United said it will continue to recruit corporations across industries to join the fund and will prioritise investment in new technology, advanced fuel sources, and proven producers – all in an effort to help scale the supply of SAF. Partners also have the potential to gain preferential access to environmental attributes associated with United’s future supply of SAF.

To date, United has invested in the future production of over five billion gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world.

“While United can’t decarbonise the airline industry alone, we can use our leadership and credibility in this space to rally others to join us,” said United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen. ” As companies across the globe are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact from flying, the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund presents a unique opportunity – instead of fighting over the current limited supply of SAF, with our partners, we’re working collaboratively to help scale the SAF industry itself, and to get an equity stake in groundbreaking technology while doing it.”

SAF, which currently must be blended with conventional jet fuel to meet regulatory requirements for use within the aircraft, is being made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and, in the future, could be made from other feedstocks including household trash or forest waste.

Through the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, United intends to invest in a variety of SAF feedstocks and technologies. With the right policy incentives to produce SAF, United’s efforts could help build a future of sustainable flight.