• Gennette Cordova

Bombardier makes good on its commitment to deliver SAF loaded aircraft

Updated: Jan 2

Bombardier has delivered its first aircraft filled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to Latitude 33 Aviation, a private jet charter, executive jet management and aircraft sales and acquisitions company. Latitude 33 typically manages 30-35 aircraft, the majority of which are available for private charter. 

"Their trust as the first customer to fly away from our delivery center on these fuels represents a significant step towards the industry-goal of reducing CO2 emissions," said Bombardier public relations advisor, Clemence Godfroy, in an interview with Jet Fuel Innovation News.

This particular Challenger 350 business jet, which is the fourth aircraft received by Latitude 33 Aviation from Bombardier in the past three years, will be based in Seattle, Wash., for its owner and available for charter use. 

In an interview with Jet Fuel Innovation News, Michael Giesbrecht, vice president of business operations for Latitude 33 Aviation, said the arrangement to load the new aircraft with biofuel was jointly made by the company and the jet’s owner, with the final decision coming from the owner, after Bombardier presented the opportunity.

“We’ve been familiar with the biofuel initiative for some time,” said Giesbrecht, whose company has also increased its use of reusable onboard supplies, such as dishware and utensils. “We wanted to help normalize sustainable fuel use in the industry and do what we can to reduce our environmental impact.”

Since news of the delivery, he added, the response from customers and the general public have been overwhelmingly positive, ranging from congratulatory to inquisitive, which he feels is indicative of where the industry is headed. 

The desire to be eco-conscious, however, will not be enough for most business jet owners and management companies if the main roadblocks to SAF obtainment aren’t addressed, Giesbrecht cautioned. “Sometimes, it can be two to three times more expensive than Jet A [unleaded kerosene] fuel, which is often the biggest operational cost, and it’s only conveniently located in certain areas and available at certain airports.”

Still, Bombardier has complete faith that the industry will overcome those obstacles. "SAF will become economically viable and compete with fossil-based fuels as costs are lowered by improvements in production technology and through economies of scale in production," said Godfroy.

This jet delivery comes on the heels of Bombardier accepting its first load of SAF, late last month, at its headquarters in Montreal, which was the first SAF shipment to any of the company's facilities outside of the U.S. The 7,300-gallon, cooking oil-based SAF will fuel new deliveries of Challenger 350 and 650 business jets, but the Canadian manufacturer says it will increase its supply intake to fuel new Global 7500, 6500 and 6000 shipments, as well, in 2020.

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