American Express Global Business Travel is teaming up with energy
giant Shell and professional services company Accenture to create a new
platform for purchasing sustainable aviation fuel.

The three companies have launched Avelia, which is a “book-and-claim”
platform for sourcing SAF, which reduces carbon emissions from flights
compared with traditional kerosene jet fuel. 

Book-and-claim
allows travelers to pay for SAF and claim the benefits, even if SAF is
not available at their departure airport, with the fuel instead being
fed into another aircraft in an airport where SAF is available.

Avelia
aims to share the costs and benefits of SAF across the business travel
sector by giving airlines access to the “buying capacity” of corporate
customers who are willing to share the higher cost of purchasing SAF,
which is currently four to five times higher than normal jet fuel.

The
platform, which uses blockchain-based technology, has been developed by
Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation. Working with Amex GBT will allow Avelia to aggregate global
business demand for SAF to help increase supply and use of the fuel.

“A truly viable route to decarbonizing
air travel is now open for business. We’re calling on all companies to
join us and share the costs and benefits of SAF across the travel and
aviation sectors,” said Amex GBT CEO Paul
Abbott in a statement. “Airlines will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses, drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers around the world.”

The
pilot phase of the program aims to demonstrate the “credibility” of
the book-and-claim model by using blockchain technology to account for
and track the environmental benefits from using SAF for both the
corporate client and the airline. 

“SAF is a key enabler of
decarbonisation in the aviation industry, and it’s available today.
However, it’s currently scarce and costs more than conventional jet
fuel,” Shell Aviation president Jan Toschka said in a statement. “Avelia will help trigger demand for SAF at
scale, providing confidence to suppliers like us to further increase
investment in production, and in turn helping to lower the price point
for these fuels.”

“Our vision for the Avelia platform is to bring
together airlines, corporates, cargo players and SAF suppliers in a
trusted ecosystem that no individual company could build or access on
its own,” Europe strategy lead for
Accenture Rachel Barton added. “Blockchain technology will be piloted to help ensure
trust via data integrity, validate proof of ownership and enable
transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for
customers.”

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