Groundbreaking cooperation to transform Japanese aviation industry / Article by Neste

Groundbreaking cooperation to transform Japanese aviation industry

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan and with almost 80 international routes, it is also one of the most important airlines in Asia. The airline has a steadfast attitude towards sustainability, with great importance placed on environmental issues and fighting climate change.

For ANA, reducing its carbon footprint is a top priority, and sustainable aviation fuel plays a key role in meeting this goal, both in the short and long term.

  • ANA

the largest airline in Japan is a sustainability leader in the Asian aviation market.

  • Net Zero Emissions 

the goal to reduce CO2 emissions from airline operations by FY 2025.

  • 140

domestic routes operated.

3 challenges ANA wanted to solve

1. Reaching ambitious sustainability goals

ANA has pledged to reduce carbon emissions levels from aircraft operations to net zero by 2050 as part of its latest ESG goals.

2. Enhancing customer experience

Customers expect airlines to invest in sustainability and this is why ANA wants to ensure their operations provide a meaningful experience. 

3. Changing Japanese aviation market

Changing the industry practices demands good planning and preparation and this is why ANA was looking for experienced, reliable partners.

The message was encouraging: it is important to be an airline that is both able and willing to introduce a new way of doing things in our industry.
– Kohei Yoshikawa, Manager of Fuel Procurement, ANA


In order to reach their sustainability goals, ANA was searching for a partner to provide sustainable aviation fuel for its fleet. Among other fuel providers, ANA negotiated with Neste.

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. The fuel gives an immediate solution for reducing the direct greenhouse gas emissions of flying as it can reduce up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel.

Being the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel, Neste had recently invested in an expansion of its Singapore refinery. This meant there would be even more SAF available closer to the Asian aviation market, which would further reduce carbon emissions and secure the supply chain for SAF to Japanese airports. 

“Working with Neste guarantees our airports and aircraft a big enough volume of SAF for operating regular flights on a daily basis”, says Kohei Yoshikawa, who works as the manager of fuel procurement at ANA.

With the ground-breaking partnership established, ANA will become the first airlines to use SAF on flights departing from Japan. In addition, Neste will become the first SAF supplier to an Asian airline. 

Neste will provide airports with a drop-in fuel with existing aircraft engines and airport infrastructure, requiring no extra investment. The delivery of the SAF has been made possible through collaboration and close coordination on logistics between Neste and the Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation.

However, there have been challenges. Japan’s airports have a certain supply chain systems and its stakeholders for distributing aviation fuel to the country’s airports. SAF will be a completely new product in the Japanese market and handling it will need extra planning.

“It understandably causes a pushback from the market. Our way to answer that is to be as transparent as possible to convince the sceptics. We provide information about the safety and quality of the SAF we intend to use and about the positive outcomes its use will bring”, Yoshikawa says.

As a supplier of an innovative new product, Neste is familiar with entering new markets. The company’s expertise helped ANA to navigate the launch of a new era of more sustainable aviation. 

Last October 2020 they initiated first SAF-fuelled commercial flights from the international airports of Haneda and Narita. In order to fulfil the promise of transparency, the first commercial flight welcomed journalists at the airport apron to witness ANA’s aircraft fueled by Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ . 

As the news about our SAF initiative travelled, ANA received very positive feedback from their customers. 

“The message was encouraging: it is important to be an airline that is both able and willing to introduce a new way of doing things in our industry”, Yoshikawa says.


As the SAF-fuelled commercial flights were successful, ANA is now able to introduce their customers the opportunity to experience regular SAF-fuelled flights from the year 2023 onwards.

“We know our customers are very conscious about environmental issues and they expect us to excel in sustainability. That is why flying with SAF is a very meaningful initiative for our customers”, Yoshikawa says.

“Being serious with sustainability provides our customers with a sense of safety and appreciation for the future. We want to be an industry leader and therefore prepared to go beyond the standards with regards to sustainable work", he continues.

In order to reach their goal for the year 2050, ANA plans to further develop their long-term future in partnership with Neste. 

“Our business relationship has become valuable for both of us. As Neste has considerable plans to expand its customer network in Japan, we are happy, from our behalf, to help Neste plan their course into the market”, Yoshikawa explains.

ANA hopes to strengthen its leadership as an eco-friendly airline.

“We are all connected in this campaign against global warming and we are confident we will create a brighter future with Neste,” Yoshikawa concludes.

Customers expect us to excel in sustainability. That is why flying with SAF is a very meaningful initiative for them.
– Kohei Yoshikawa , Manager of Fuel Procurement, ANA



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