March 31, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: A rendering of the A220, one of the new aircraft Qantas has selected to renew its fleet, which will reduce emissions by 20 per cent compared to current aircraft

Qantas has committed to cutting its emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 as it aims to be carbon neutral by the middle of the century.

The airline group, which also includes low cost carrier Jetstar, is focussing on four areas to help it reach its 2030 target.

By 2030, it aims to be using 10 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) across its flight network. It has already begun using SAF for flights out of London and will star using them on two US routes by 2025. By 2050 it expects to have scaled SAF use up to 60 per cent.

The airline also aims to have eliminated single use plastics by 2027 and reached zero general waste to landfill by the end of the decade, excluding quarantine waste.

Fuel efficiency is another area Qantas is looking at to reach its interim target, with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5 per cent each year until 2030, through using new aircraft, increasing efficiencies in flight planning and continuing research into new technologies.

Finally, Qantas is continuing to invest in carbon offset programs, particularly in Australia. Just today it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue progress on a reforestation and decarbonisation project in rural Western Australia.

“Aviation is a crucial industry, especially in a country the size of Australia,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“Having a clear plan to decarbonise Qantas and Jetstar so we can keep delivering these services in the decades ahead is absolutely key to our future.”

“We’ve had a zero net emissions goal for several years, so today’s interim targets are about accelerating our progress and cutting emissions as quickly as technology allows.

“Hydrogen or electric powered aircraft are several decades away, particularly for the length of most flights, so our plan is focused on the technology that is within reach today.

“We’re looking at new aircraft that burn approximately 15 to 20 per cent less fuel and we’re already using sustainable aviation fuel for our London flights that can cut emissions by up to 80 per cent.

“One benefit of setting these targets now is sending a clear signal that we’re in the market for large volumes of sustainable aviation fuel, for carbon offset projects and for products that can be recycled. That will hopefully encourage more investment and build more momentum for the industry as a whole,” he said.