Cebu Pacific operates first SAF-powered flight from Japan to Manila – Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) operated its first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)-powered flight from Tokyo-Narita, Japan, to Manila, Philippines, on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.

Handout photo from Cebu Pacific

Flight 5J 5055, which was operated using an Airbus A321neo, used 40% blended SAF produced by Neste Corporation and supplied by Itochu Corporation. This resulted in a 44% reduction in carbon emissions per passenger, setting a new record for CEB's SAF-powered flights.

"As we await sufficient SAF supply to meet the demand of the entire aviation industry, this inaugural Narita to Manila SAF flight represents Cebu Pacific's ongoing efforts toward making air travel more sustainable," said Alexander Lao, President and Chief Commercial Officer at Cebu Pacific. 

"Other decarbonization programs that we have put in place include investing in fuel-efficient NEOs, optimization of flight plans, and adoption of fuel efficiency best practices to minimize fuel consumption. All these are concrete sustainability initiatives that bolster our commitment and support for the aviation industry's goal of flying net-zero by 2050," Lao added.

Cebu Pacific signed a strategic partnership with Neste in September 2022 to work towards establishing a long-term supply of SAF across the Asia-Pacific region. This initiative aligns with the airline's sustainability goal to gradually integrate SAF into its operations, thereby reducing its carbon emissions footprint and promoting environmental consciousness.

Last year, Cebu Pacific operated its first passenger flight powered by SAF from Singapore to Manila, making it the first low-cost carrier in Southeast Asia to incorporate SAF in its commercial operation. The airline aims to integrate blended SAF for its entire commercial network by 2030.

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"We are honored that Cebu Pacific has chosen Narita International Airport for this initiative," said Toshio Tashiro, Executive Officer of Narita International Airport. "Being one of the select airlines to mount SAF flights in Japan, Cebu Pacific's commitment to sustainability is commendable."

"We look forward to partnering with Cebu Pacific as we strive towards sustainable aviation," said Atsushi Onishi, Senior Officer of Itochu's Energy Division. "Our collaboration underscores the growing demand for SAF in the Asia-Pacific region and we are ready to meet that need."

Passengers on the inaugural flight were part of the celebration, receiving commemorative tokens and engaging in in-flight activities.

Cebu Pacific's commitment to sustainability is evident in its various initiatives, including its investment in fuel-efficient NEOs, optimization of flight plans, adoption of fuel efficiency best practices, and integration of SAF into its operations. The airline's efforts are aligned with the global aviation industry's goal of flying net-zero by 2050.