Singapore airplane on flight.

SINGAPORE: The city-state is set to make a groundbreaking move towards greener skies as it will require departing flights to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) starting in 2026, as Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat announced at the Changi Aviation Summit.

Reuters reports that under the plan, Singapore aims to achieve a 1% SAF target from 2026, with ambitions to increase to 3-5% by 2030, pending advancements in technology and the wider availability of SAF.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), in collaboration with industry experts and stakeholders, has crafted this strategy, recognising SAF as a critical tool in decarbonising aviation.

CAAS predicts that SAF could contribute up to 65% of the carbon emission reductions required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

SAF can be produced synthetically or derived from biological materials such as used cooking oil or wood chips. Despite its potential, SAF currently represents only 0.2% of the jet fuel market.

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However, industry projections suggest that this figure could soar to 65% by 2050, contingent upon substantial capital investments estimated between S$1.95 trillion ($1.45 trillion) and S$4.3 trillion ($3.2 trillion).

One of the main challenges facing SAF producers is the uncertainty surrounding the demand for their product, while airlines cite insufficient supply at competitive prices.

Presently, SAF costs up to five times more than traditional jet fuel. To address these concerns, CAAS intends to implement an SAF levy, providing airlines and passengers with cost certainty.

This levy will be calculated based on the SAF target and projected price, adjusting for travel distance and class.

For instance, an economy class ticket for a direct flight from Singapore to Bangkok, Tokyo, or London could see an increase of approximately S$3 ($2.23), S$6 ($4.46), and S$16 ($11.90), respectively, to support a 1% SAF uplift in 2026.

Premium class passengers will incur higher levies, according to Singapore’s aviation regulator. /TISG

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