Taking a LEAP for Sustainabiltiy

December 1, 2021

A Message from Gaël Méheust, CFM President & CEO

Later today, I will have the pleasure helping to make aviation history with United Airlines and other partners on the industry’s first commercial carrier flight full of passengers using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The demonstration flight, which will carry more than 100 passengers, will be carried out on a CFM LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 8 aircraft that will use 500 gallons of drop-in SAF (fully compatible with existing aircraft fleets) in one engine, while the other will operate on conventional jet fuel. Currently, airlines are only permitted to use a maximum 50 percent blend on commercial flights. Our hope is to help move the industry closer to regulatory approval of 100 percent SAF.

SAF, an alternative fuel made with non-petroleum feedstocks, has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of the carbon footprint – up to an 80 percent reduction from approved blends today compared to petroleum-based jet fuel over its lifecycle.

All CFM products are fully compatible with current blended-SAF requirements and the company has a long history of supporting the development of sustainable fuels, with flight tests in our CFM56 engines dating back to 2007.

Today’s flight has been a collaborative effort between United, Boeing, CFM, Marathon/Virent, and World Energy

It is an honor to be part of this landmark event. Drop-in SAF is something our industry can adopt now to begin making inroads on our commitment to be net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Along with our parent companies, GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, we applaud United for taking this bold initiative and look forward to even greater cooperation in the future.



A 50/50 joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, CFM International has redefined international cooperation and helped change the course of commercial aviation since its founding in 1974. Today, CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with a product line that sets the industry standard for efficiency, reliability, durability, and optimized cost of ownership. CFM International produces the LEAP family of engines and supports LEAP and CFM56 fleets for operators worldwide. . www.cfmaeroengines.com


Charles Soret,



Nathan Hicks,

+1 513 283 7495,





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