International law firm Addleshaw Goddard has advised Budapest-based airline Wizz Air on an equity investment into Firefly Green Fuels, which is developing sustainable aviation fuel from sewage sludge.

The £5 million investment into the biofuel company will support the development of its process to turn the low-value waste product, which is readily available in large quantities, into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The process has the potential to produce 250,000 tonnes of SAF each year. 

The deal is Wizz Air's first equity investment in SAF research and development, with the partnership to allow the airline to supply the product to its UK operations from 2028; up to 525,000 tonnes over 15 years. It is also the latest milestone in Wizz Air's broader sustainability strategy, including its fleet renewal plan.

The Addleshaw Goddard team advising Wizz Air on the deal included James Tatro, Aidan Barry, Lucy Balmforth, Sophie Ovenden (Corporate), Paul Dight, Anna Ai (Energy), Georgina Powling, Alice Chaplin, Lydia Stone-Fewings and Amir Farahabadi (Commercial/IP). 

James Tatro, Partner at Addleshaw Goddard said: "We are delighted to help Wizz Air seal this partnership with Firefly, which has the potential to lead to a huge step forward for sustainable air travel. It was great to bring our experience in corporate equity investments and our knowledge in green energy solutions and sustainability in transport to bear to reach this groundbreaking agreement."

Michael Berlouis, head of strategic projects at Wizz Air, said: "In addition to fleet renewal and operational efficiency, SAF is crucial for reducing carbon emissions from aviation. However, feedstock availability remains the key challenge for the industry.

"Our investment in Firefly and its sewage sludge SAF technology is a major step forward for Wizz Air in securing its long-term ability to provide low-cost fares to its customers in an ever more environmentally sustainable way. From 2028, we are aiming to procure 525,000 tonnes of SAF from Firefly over a period of 15 years. This has the potential to reduce our emissions by 100,000 tonnes CO2-eq per year, which is equal to the emissions of over 12,000 return Wizz Air flights between London and Budapest."