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Microsoft Picks Up the Bill for Alaska Airlines Biofuels

Microsoft Picks Up the Bill for Alaska Airlines Biofuels
Joe Cortez

As Microsoft anticipates more business travel is coming for their West Coast employees, the company is working with another Seattle-area partner to reduce their carbon footprint. The software giant says they will purchase sustainable aviation fuel credits for Alaska Airlines, which will be delivered to the carrier on the company’s behalf.

Even though business travel has suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft says their employees are still regularly traveling from the Redmond, Wash. campus to three major California cities: Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco. To make their travels eco-friendlier, the software company says they will pick up the sustainable aircraft fuel bill for another Seattle-area company: Alaska Airlines.

Microsoft to Purchase Sustainable Fuel Credits, with Fuel Delivered to Alaska Airlines

Under the unique agreement, Microsoft says they will purchase sustainable aviation fuel from existing Alaska partner SkyNRG. In turn, SkyNRG will deliver the fuel to Alaska for use in their aircraft, specifically on their routes between Seattle and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Jose International Airport (SJC) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

“We are excited to partner with Alaska Airlines to make business air travel a little greener by using sustainable aviation fuel supplied by SkyNRG to reduce the carbon impact of the flights Microsoft employees fly most,” Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business, said in a press release. “We hope this sustainable aviation fuel model will be used by other companies as a way to reduce the environmental impact of their business travel.”

SkyNRG has provided sustainable fuel to Alaska Airlines since 2011, first brokering a deal between the airline and Dynamic Fuels of Gesimar, La. Their biofuel mix contained 20 percent used cooking oil to reduce the flight’s carbon footprint. The airline estimates their first trial reduced emissions by 10 percent, or the equivalent of removing 26 cars from American highways for one year.

Alaska No Stranger to Biofuels to Power Flights

This isn’t Alaska’s first run at experimenting with biofuels to reduce emissions. In 2016, the carrier used forest residuals to create a biofuel blend for a flight operated between Seattle and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Alongside plans to operate fuel-efficient aircraft and upgraded pilot technology, the airline says they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent since 2012.

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