Wizz Air awarded for investment in Firefly’s sustainable aviation fuel technology

Wizz Air, Europe’s fastest growing and most environmentally sustainable airline globally (according to the Centre for Aviation Awards for Excellence 2022-2023), has been awarded ‘Strategic Investment of The Year – Europe’ at the 2023 SAF Investor Awards in London.

The SAF Investor Awards recognises industry leaders taking steps to decarbonise aviation with significant transactions helping to move the industry forward.

Wizz Air received recognition for its £5m equity investment in Firefly, an innovative UK-based biofuel company, to support research and development into viable options for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.

Firefly specialises in a unique process which converts sewage sludge, a low-value waste product available in large quantities, into SAF. Wizz Air’s partnership with Firefly will allow the airline to supply up to 525,000 tonnes of SAF over 15 years to its UK operations from 2028 and has the potential to expand into Europe.

Firefly’s SAF, which will be independently certified against the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard, is projected to deliver a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel on a life cycle basis. The biofuel company aims to have its first commercial plant operating within the next 5 years.

On top of securing SAF agreements and equity investments, Wizz Air’s sustainability strategy includes an ambitious fleet renewal plan and efficient, low-fare operations. The airline uses the latest technology aircraft and prioritises high seat density and load factors to ensure its current operations are as sustainable as possible.

Yvonne Moynihan Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, said: “We are thrilled to receive the SAF Investor Award for our first equity investment in Firefly, a sustainable aviation fuel producer. The aviation industry faces a major challenge in securing enough SAF, and we are committed to supporting innovative technologies like Firefly’s that can benefit the industry in the long term. Sewage sludge is an important feedstock as it is abundant and cheap, which is important for our ultra-low-cost model. We are proud to be an industry innovator in this field with the ambition to set the standard for other airlines for advancing the future of aviation.”

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