For the first time, a commercial carrier has flown an aircraft full of passengers using 100 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Swissport provided fueling services for the historic United Airlines flight at Chicago O’Hare airport.
On 1 December 2021, Swissport provided fueling services for the first ever commercial passenger flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The United Airlines flight departed with more than 100 passengers from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and landed at Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport. Swissport played an important role as the into-plane fueling services provider, supporting its long-time customer United Airlines with this milestone towards greener airways.
“Swissport is proud to support United Airlines on this historic event as we work together to make aviation more sustainable,” says Stan Livingston, COO Fueling Service & Aircraft Maintenance at Swissport. “Sustainable Aviation Fuels are the most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades. It is extremely important for us to provide high quality services while also supporting innovation to change the way air travel impacts the environment.”
Swissport was also involved with United’s earlier test flights in 2016 and 2019, as well as in trials with Alaska Airlines. This takes a collaborative effort between the airline, fuel supplier, and the into-plane service provider, where Swissport intends to play its role as an enabler for expanding the use of SAF today and in the future.
With approximately 450 daily departures by United Airlines, Chicago O’Hare International is Swissport’s largest into-plane fueling operation. Globally, Swissport’s fueling division has more than 2,000 employees operating at 40 airports across six countries (US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Norway, UK) on behalf of more than 120 airline customers. In 2019, Swissport fueled some 6,300 flights per day, totaling to 2,300,000 flights yearly. In 2021, the company is on pace for 1,850,000 flights fueled.