Vueling Backs Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Vueling To Champion SAF

Image of Vueling Airbus A320. Credit: Rebius/

VUELING’S Sustainability Director argues that the key to decreasing aviation’s environmental impact lies not in eliminating short flights, but in escalating the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

After Recent calls to axe short-haul flights, Franc Sanmarti, who leads Vueling’s Sustainability efforts, highlighted the importance of SAF in the airline industry’s ecological transition.

He urged sector companies to enhance the development of these fuels, positioning them as central to air transport’s decarbonisation plan, writes La Informacion.

Reducing Emissions With SAF

Sanmarti referred to data showing that 2 to 3 per cent of global emissions are attributed to airline activities. He advocated for the regular use of SAF on flights as a more effective strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of the sector, rather than focusing on what he termed ‘ineffective’ measures like eliminating short flights.

He emphasised that in Spain, less than one per cent of emissions come from routes under 500 kilometres.

Short-Haul Flight Elimination

The debate around axing short-haul flights has been proposed by various politicians and social groups, this was also addressed by Sanmarti.

He stressed that such measures would not significantly contribute to the industry’s decarbonization. ‘The answer is in the SAF,’ he stated, calling for increased public-private collaboration and investment incentives.

These actions would support the development of SAFs, which can potentially reduce emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to traditional fossil fuels.

Spain’s Potential In SAF Development

Sustainable Aviation Fuel it is a type of fuel used for aircraft that is made from sustainable sources, such as used cooking oil, and other non-palm waste oils, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recently a Virgin Atlantic operated the first commercial transatlantic flight completely powered by sustainable aviation fuel.

A study by PwC highlights Spain’s capacity to establish 30 to 40 SAF production plants. These facilities could utilise waste materials like used oil and urban or forestry debris, potentially creating over 270,000 jobs.

Moreover, this could impact the national GDP by more than €56,000 million, marking a significant economic and environmental milestone. However, the current production of SAF remains minimal, at roughly 0.1 per cent, with countries like the UK and the USA already advancing in the industry.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Dik Coates

      15 December 2023 • 19:09

      I suspect that with climate change, there will be a drastic reduction in air travel. It surprises me that countries are still developing new airports. I think that might be shortsighted.

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