GOVERNMENTS CREATING DEMAND
Mandated blending requirements in Europe, tax breaks and incentives in North America. The EU’s approach may be a stick with the USA’s more carrotlike – but either way, the key takeout is that governments are creating demand for SAF. Which makes the din about the price differential with fossil irrelevant: a cheap sticker on fossil JET A-1 means nothing if it’s phased out. Government action makes the price of SAF the new price floor of aviation fuel – or will very soon. It’s given airlines what they’ve long asked for – a level playing field. (If perhaps not the one they wanted.)
But like anything else, the emerging SAF landscape has its politics. While the general goal – a cleaner, safer planet – is shared, there are different perspectives on how to get there. Two factions with differing opinions are non-government organizations and alternative propulsion vendors.
NGOs ask valid questions about reducing the size of the industry – even pushing for route bans and lower limits on flight length to reduce emissions (as in France). Maarten prefers “rightsizing” to downsizing: serving passengers with a competitive but optimized mix of routes rather than a free-for-all of endless growth. Elsewhere, vendors developing technologies like hydrogen and battery aircraft can be dismissive of SAF, confusing Net Zero’s broad goals with their own narrow competitive outlook. Maarten prefers to find common ground, with all technologies playing their part.