Travellers Flying Out of S’pore Have to Pay Extra Levy from 2026


I love Taylor Swift and I’m even going to The Eras Tour in March, but her private jet usage is crazy. Not only her, but other celebrities and millionaires use private jets like it’s a car, too.

A total of 882 private planes flew into Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. 882 private jets in just one weekend.

According to the European clean transportation nonprofit group Transport & Environment, flying in a private jet is the most carbon-polluting way to travel. Private jets produce five to 14 times more emissions per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more than trains. And yet, private jet usage is so high.

Climate change is a topic we’ll probably never be able to stop talking about, especially when some 100,000 flights take off and land every day across the world.

And this is why something is being done; right here in Singapore.

Travellers Flying Out of S’pore to Pay Extra Levy from 2026

From 2026, we can expect higher airfares when we fly out of Singapore.

Yup, better start booking your trips for 2024 and 2025 before fares increase.

On 19 February, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat launched the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint outlining Singapore’s medium- and long-term goals for both international and domestic aviation sector emissions.

This announcement was made at the Changi Aviation Summit, held in parallel with the Singapore Airshow.

There is a goal to achieve net zero international emissions by 2050, and to do so, the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is critical, Chee said.

SAF is a liquid fuel which reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80%.

It can be produced from a number of sources (feedstock) including waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste and non-food crops. Municipal waste refers to trash like product packaging, clothing, bottles, newspapers, and even food scraps.

Since the feedstock does not compete with food crops or water supplies, and is not responsible for forest degradation, SAF is considered sustainable. It recycles CO2 which has been absorbed by the biomass used in the feedstock during the course of its life.

CO2 exists in the air. A tree will absorb CO2 during photosynthesis to make “food” for itself and grow. When the tree is used to make newspapers or plastics, these products will contain the CO2 absorbed by the tree. Said products will eventually be used to make SAF, which will release CO2 when burnt. The CO2 released from this burning will then be absorbed by another baby tree for it to grow, starting the cycle all over again.

Other jet fuels like fossil fuels do not follow the carbon cycle as the carbon in these fuels had previously been “locked away” for millions of years underground, and are released into the atmosphere when we burn them.


Let’s look at it quantitatively. Let’s say there are 100 units of CO2 in the air. A tree absorbs 10 units, and when it is made into SAF, the SAF will release 10 units of CO2. There is no net change.

Fossil fuels tend to release more carbon than SAF. So, when we dig up fossil fuels from the ground and burn them, the 20 units they release add on to the existing 100 units, making the total units of CO2 120 instead of the original 100.

In this sense, burning other fuels releases extra carbon into the atmosphere, upsetting the balance of the carbon cycle.

And you know what that leads to – climate change.

SAF is expected to contribute around 65% of the carbon emission reduction needed to achieve net zero by 2050.


The increase in airfare, set to take effect in 2026, is due to a levy (tax or fee) that the Government will impose as part of a move to require SAF uplift by airlines.

The current price of SAF is roughly three to five times more expensive than conventional jet fuel.

Yes, it’s true: saving the world is expensive.

After consulting key stakeholders, the Ministry of Transport has assessed that the cost impact of a 1% SAF uplift target is manageable.

A target has hence been set to achieve 1% SAF usage for flights departing from Singapore in 2026. The goal is to raise the SAF uplift target to between 3 and 5% by 2030, Chee added. This will be subject to global developments and the wider availability and adoption of SAF.

The levy will help airlines cope with the higher cost of SAF. Given the volatile nature of SAF prices and its current limited supply, the levy, which will be set at a fixed quantum, will provide cost certainty to airlines and travellers amidst volatility.


The fixed quantum will be based on the SAF target and projected SAF price at that time. Passenger levies will also vary depending on class of travel and route distance.

The SAF levy will not change, even if the actual SAF price differs from what is projected. There will simply be adjustments in the actual uplift volume of SAF, so don’t worry about suddenly having to pay even more than what the levy is.

“Whether we are able to meet, or exceed, our SAF target will be based on how much SAF can be purchased with the SAF levy at the prevailing SAF price,” Chee said.

He added that if the supply of SAF increases and prices come down, we could even exceed our targets.

Chee also assured that the government will be mindful not to place too heavy a financial burden on the industry, and will instead strike a “balance” between sustainability and competitiveness to “support the long-term growth” of the hub.


The ministry estimates that for an economy class ticket from Singapore to Bangkok, Tokyo and London, the levy will be around S$3, S$6, and S$16 respectively.

Passengers in premium classes will pay higher levies. These prices are just estimates and the actual levies in 2026 may be cheaper or more expensive.

Ok lah, not so bad. $3 can buy 1.5 curry puffs and $6 can buy you a large cup of bubble tea. Save on the fats and sugar and contribute to cleaner travel instead.

Singapore the First Country to Introduce Levy

According to The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore is the first country in the world to introduce a levy to meet its sustainable aviation fuel goals. Other countries have instead introduced mandates based on fixed volumes.

France and Sweden currently require a minimum of 1% sustainable jet fuel usage and the European Union has agreed to rules mandating 2% in 2025, 6% in 2030, and 70% in 2050.

Yeah, the jump from 6% to 70% is huge.

In Asia, Japan is planning a 10% sustainable fuel mandate by 2030 and India is debating a 1% mandate by 2027 for international flights, considering a rise to 5% by 2030.

These mandates, however, have a downside. As mentioned before, the current supply of SAF is limited. The high demand for it makes its price even more volatile than conventional fuel, CAAS noted. With limited supply and volatile prices, it places a heavier burden on airlines.


To deal with the limited supply, the gradual SAF uplift in Singapore will incentivise fuel producers to invest in new SAF production facilities, allowing Singapore to scale up the adoption of SAF in years to come.

CAAS will continue to review the implementation of the SAF levy further in close consultation with stakeholders, before announcing more details next year closer to its roll-out.

Other Initiatives

On top the SAF levy, other initiatives have been put in place to reduce aviation emissions here.

The largest single-site rooftop solar panel system in Singapore will be installed at Changi Airport in early 2025. The installation of this solar photovoltaic (PV) system has already started, and another system will be installed within the airfield.

These systems will reduce Changi Airport Group’s carbon emissions by roughly 20,000 tonnes every year. They will even generate enough solar energy to power over 10,000 four-room Housing Board flats yearly.

What if we hook the system up to our HDB-

The Ministry of Transport also noted that they will commence trials on the use of renewable diesel, especially for specialised airport ground handling vehicles where there are no viable electric models.

Last March, former Transport Minister S. Iswaran mentioned that there are plans to increase the number of electric vehicles in Changi Airport. From 2025, all new airside light vehicles (such as cars and vans), tractors, and forklifts in Changi Airport must be electric vehicles. All the vehicles at Changi’s airside are set to be run on cleaner energy by 2040.

Changi Airport will also improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and study potential for an on-site waste-to-energy facility at Changi Airport.