August 14, 2020
Alaska Airlines is focusing on flying the eco-friendly skies with a new sustainable fuel deal. The airline has signed a four-year agreement with renewable fuel producer Neste.
“We are, as an industry and I think as a society, we’re on a journey to make sure that we are reducing carbon emissions and protecting our environment,” Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of external relations at Alaska Airlines, told Cheddar. “And there’s no time like the present to keep making progress.”
Rakow said Alaska Airlines has flown 80 trial flights using sustainable fuel. Renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel will now be used on all of its flights out of San Francisco.
“Our long-term goal is to make sustainable fuel a viable, commercially available, scalable product that we can use across all of our operations and really for all of aviation,” Rakow said.
Customers should not notice any changes during their in-flight experience. The change comes as more and more consumers are voicing demands for increased sustainability from big businesses, even beyond the air travel industry.
“One of the things that’s actually going to make reducing carbon emissions successful is involving our guests in wanting us to move in this direction, in purchasing carbon offsets, and continuing to demand that more and more airlines use sustainable fuel so that we can build a sustainable market for this product,” Rakow said.
Alaska Airlines is currently trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated air travel. Rakow said the airline was flying 130,000 passengers per day pre-pandemic, but at the lowest point dropped to 5,000. She said about 35,000 to 45,000 passengers are now flying per day.