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Southwest Launches New SAF-Focused Subsidiary

The airline says it plans to replace 10% of total jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030.

Southwest Boeing 737s at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

Southwest on Wednesday announced the launch of Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures (SARV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the carrier focused on securing sustainable aviation fuel efforts. This initiative aligns with the Dallas-based airline’s goal of replacing 10% of its total jet fuel consumption with Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by 2030.

As part of its launch, SARV invested $30 million in LanzaJet, Inc., a company developing and producing SAF. LanzaJet utilizes a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and operates the world’s first commercial plant for this process in Georgia.

Southwest says it will continue acquiring SAF through offtake agreements while SARV manages its SAF investments, including a previous investment in SAFFiRE Renewables. SAFFiRE works with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and holds rights to technology converting corn stover into cellulosic ethanol, a key component in LanzaJet’s SAF production process.

“Our launch of SARV and our investment in LanzaJet demonstrate that we are not sitting on the sidelines. Rather, we’re in the game by taking proactive, disciplined steps toward securing affordable SAF for Southwest, as we continue to march toward our goal of net zero by 2050,” said Bob Jordan, President & CEO of Southwest Airlines in a press release.

“We look forward to working with companies and organizations developing important technology, like LanzaJet, which could help us meet our SAF goals,” Jordan added.

LanzaJet plans to construct a new ethanol-to-SAF facility specifically for Southwest, enabling the conversion of SAFFiRE’s ethanol into larger quantities of SAF. Overall, LanzaJet expects to produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel a year.

“LanzaJet’s ethanol-to-SAF technology represents the next generation of sustainable aviation fuel and will transform global aviation’s ability to meet its 2050 net zero targets. We’re proud to be working with Southwest Airlines to build out this industry as well as working with SAFFiRE Renewables to use ethanol made right here in the U.S.,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet, as part of a press release. “Southwest’s equity investment in LanzaJet will help us continue to grow and scale to meet the demands of the aviation industry, while unlocking the significant potential of the U.S. biofuels industry to benefit local communities and support the agriculture industry.”

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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