Shell Aviation & Emirates Boost SAF Use at Heathrow

Shell Aviation has supplied Emirates with SAF – the most ever for the airline – to boost sustainable fuel use in line with Heathrow’s SAF Incentive Scheme

The Emirates story started in 1985 when the company launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, it flies the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering its customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.

Emirates has been active in the UK since 1987 and currently operates 131 weekly flights out of Heathrow Airport, situated just outside of London.

At Heathrow, Emirates has taken delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from Shell Aviation in a bid to reduce emissions. More than 3,000 metric tonnes of SAF will be supplied into the fuelling infrastructure network of the UK’s largest airport until the end of summer 2024. 

This is the first time the airline will be using SAF to power some of its flights at London Heathrow and represents the largest volume of SAF it has purchased to date. In its neat form, SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to using conventional jet fuel.

Emirates SAF
Heathrow’s SAF Incentive
  • In 2022, Heathrow launched its SAF Incentive. The first of its kind scheme provides a support mechanism to reduce the premium price gap between conventional jet fuel and SAF by approximately 50%.

Meet the executives

“Emirates is eager to take this next step in our SAF journey with Shell Aviation and London Heathrow supporting us with this fuel supply arrangement in one of our biggest operations outside of Dubai,” says Adel Al Redha, Deputy President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates Airline. 

“The LHR Incentive Programme will support the SAF market’s increasing momentum, allowing airlines like Emirates to take advantage of its availability and make it more commercially viable.”

Adel Al Redha, Deputy President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates Airline

“London Heathrow’s SAF initiative also demonstrates credible action to encourage the scale up and use of SAF by airlines, building local production capabilities grounded in real demand, in addition to developing capacities across the supply chain to blend, handle and distribute SAF more widely,” he continues. 

“We hope that the initiative receives collective support from government authorities to boost more investment in SAF production in the future. While Emirates explores opportunities to increase the use of SAF within our network, we’ll continue to take other steps to reduce our emissions, with a major focus around optimising flight operations including weight reduction of aircraft and charting more efficient flight routes, among other initiatives.”

Since joining Emirates in 1988, Adel Ahmad Al Redha has been a pivotal player within the operations team in various capacities. His experience over the years has covered all aspects of operations and logistics which includes engineering, flight operations, service delivery, airport services, network operations and aircraft procurement.

In his various roles with the company, he was instrumental in introducing ab-initio cadet programmes, engineering apprenticeships, and air transport management for UAE nationals pursuing a career in aviation. He also played a vital role in expanding the engineering and maintenance department including the state-of-the-art engine maintenance shop and the establishment of the Emirates Flight Training Academy.

He is a key member in the definition of aircraft specifications, and in scoping the Emirates product in relation to cabin interiors and inflight entertainment. In addition, he has been instrumental in transforming into the digital process across all aspects of operations, most recently the introduction of paperless cockpit and use of biometric machines and automated passenger movement within the airport. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2013.

A Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Adel holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology/Aircraft Maintenance from the University of Northrop, USA, and a Master’s degree in Air Transport from Cranfield University, UK.

Raman Ojha, President, Shell Aviation

Raman Ojha, President, Shell Aviation, added: “After our successful collaboration with Emirates to supply SAF to Dubai (DXB) last year, we are pleased to continue our support for their sustainability journey by enabling the airline to decarbonise flights out of the UK. This development also marks further progress in the growth of our global SAF supply network. Our goal is to continue to work with forward-thinking players in the aviation industry, like Emirates and London Heathrow, to make SAF available in more locations around the world."

Raman previously headed up Shell’s Construction & Road business and brings extensive experience within global and regional B2B businesses, covering different parts of the value chain. He has more than 18 years of experience at Shell. During this impressive career, he has led the decarbonisation agenda for Construction & Road, working with external customers, government and policymakers. Raman is known as a strategic leader with a strong track record of driving outstanding performance and integrated value for the businesses he has led.

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Heathrow

“We are thrilled to support Emirates with Heathrow’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) scheme,” shares Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Heathrow. 

“SAF is crucial to decarbonising long haul flights as it can cut the carbon on routes like London to Dubai without the need for new aircraft or infrastructure. Thanks to commitments from airlines like Emirates, we expect to support the use of up to 155,000 tonnes of SAF at Heathrow this year. Now we need to ramp up SAF production in the UK so the country can benefit from jobs, growth and energy security as more airlines make the switch to cleaner fuels.”

Before ascending to Chief Commercial Officer, Ross was Heathrow’s Director of Operations and, prior to that, Director of Strategy. Ross joined Heathrow in 2011, bringing a wealth of experience from various advisory and industry roles. His background includes time at Bain & Company, where he consulted on strategic, commercial, and operational projects. Before Bain, Ross spent a decade at British Airways, undertaking a variety of operational and commercial management positions both in the UK and internationally. 


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