AIT Worldwide Logistics and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo ink record Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) agreement

Left to right Ray Fennelly and GertJan Roelands.

At the prestigious annual ball of the Netherland-America Foundation (NAF) on Friday, 18 November in New York, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) presented its Sustainability Award to AIT Worldwide Logistics’ CIO & EVP, Ray Fennelly. The prize underscores the tremendous efforts AIT has made this year to become a leader in sustainability in the logistics sector.

More importantly, AIT Worldwide Logistics has joined the Air France KLM Martinair Cargo Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) programme, under which agreement AIT purchased 460 metric tonnes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from AFKLMP Cargo for the period 2023, with even higher volumes committed heading towards 2024. This ground-breaking agreement allows both parties to further intensify their partnership and increase the overall sustainability of airfreight chain logistics.

Ray Fennelly, Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President for AIT Worldwide Logistics, comments: “To make progress towards environmental goals in our industry, cooperation is absolutely essential, and AIT is pleased to be a part of KLM’s SAF programme. It’s also an honour to receive this award from a company with such a well-deserved reputation for world-class professionalism and support; thank you for your partnership as we work in tandem towards a sustainable future.”

GertJan Roelands, SVP Commercial at AFKLMP Cargo explains: “We are honoured that AIT Worldwide Logistics has decided to partner with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and join our SAF programme. Recognising the challenges of the hard-to-abate sector, partnerships like these underscore the willingness of the complex ecosystem to work together to become a more sustainable airfreight industry. This is a clear step in the right direction toward our commitments for the SBTi-validated targets for 2030 and the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero CO₂ by 2050.”

In October 2021, the Air France-KLM Group committed to having its decarbonisation trajectory validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), ensuring that its targets are in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

To reach our environmental ambition we identified three levers: 1) fleet renewal, 2) SAF and 3) operational measures:

1) Air France-KLM’s decarbonisation trajectory includes an ambitious plan to renew the Group’s airline fleet with next-generation aircraft emitting 20%-25% less CO₂. Cargo specific, we recently announced a firm order of 4x A350F for AF and 4x A350F for MP to renew our freighter fleet. These new generation aircraft will replace the current Martinair Boeing 747 freighters from the second half of 2026. The four A350Fs emit over 40% less CO₂ and make 50% less noise than their predecessors.

2) In 2020, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo was the first air cargo carrier to launch a fully customer-oriented Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) programme. More than 50 companies from all over the world have now joined the programme. In October, AFKLMP Cargo introduced another novelty with the goSAF option, which allows customers to reduce their carbon emissions per booked shipment by making a direct investment in SAF. This new feature in AFKLMP’s myCargo booking portal, seems to be widely embraced. In the first week alone, after the feature was introduced, an SAF contribution was added to more than 1,000 bookings.

3) Searching for greater efficiency in its operations, favouring more direct routes and applying procedures that limit fuel consumption (lighter aircraft, single-engine taxiing, continuous descent) are all part of AFKL’s sustainability efforts. Air France and KLM have set themselves the target of making their ground operations carbon-neutral by 2030.

In addition, Air France-KLM is mobilising the entire sector and is committed to developing innovative solutions for aircraft design, maintenance, engines and synthetic fuels, gradually leading to carbon-free aviation.

Earlier this year, AFKLMP Cargo was recognised for its commitment to making our cargo operations as sustainable as possible, along with our partners in the ecosystem, by receiving the Most Innovative Cargo Solution award in this year’s Sustainable Flight Challenge hosted by SkyTeam.

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