UK ministers have formally set out a target for 2% of jet fuel in 2025 to be sustainable aviation fuel, a step toward a mandate for 10% of jet fuel to be sustainable by 2030.

Air bp SAF truck

Source: Air bp

UK transport secretary Mark Harper says: “Today, the government is confirming a trajectory for the mandate from 2025 up to 2040 that is ambitious but realistic.

The 2% SAF target for 2025 is in line with that required under the European Union’s Emission Trading System, though the latter mandates increase to 6% by 2030.

The plan still requires parliamentary approval, which the government aims to secure this year.

Earlier this month, Wizz Air became the latest European carrier to commit to its own aspiration of having 10% of its flights powered by SAF by 2030, citing the imminent introduction of mandates in the EU and the UK.

Alongside confirming the timetable for the mandate, the UK also outlined plans for a ”review mechanism” to help manage prices and minimise the impact on airfares given SAF is more expensive than traditional jet fuel, at least “in the immediate term”.

It has also launched a consultation on plans to introduce an industry-funded ”revenue certainty mechanism” for UK SAF production, with a view to it being delivered by the end of 2026.

Airlines have consistently complained about shortages of SAF availability and argued greater incentives and policy certainty is required in order to kick start SAF production, citing the example of policies implemented in the USA by the Biden Administration.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, says: ”UK airlines support a SAF mandate as a vital step towards the net-zero transition as SAF will be one of the important technologies to achieve aviation’s net zero commitments.

”However, it is vital that Government now puts the right measures in place to incentivise production and reduce the cost of SAF as seen in the EU and US, as quickly as possible. Without these, the UK will be at a competitive disadvantage with consumers at risk of higher fares.”