Marking another important step on its alternative fuels roadmap, Airbus has joined forces with German flag carrier Lufthansa to launch the world’s first daily commercial passenger flights using bio-fuel for aviation use.
These scheduled flights, which are to begin in the first half of 2011 between Hamburg and Frankfurt, will utilise an Airbus A321 jetliner powered by a bio-fuel blend made from 50 per cent Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).
Bio-fuels such as HVO represent an eco-efficient solution to reduce the air transport sector’s overall carbon footprint. Their emissions are equal to those from fossil fuels, however the bio-fuels’ plant feedstocks fix CO2 as they grow – offsetting what will be emitted when burned.
The upcoming flights will continue for an initial period of six months as part of the “Burn Fair” research and technology programme, during which Airbus will provide technical assistance and monitor fuel properties.
The bio-fuel is being provided by Finland-based Neste Oil under a long term agreement with Lufthansa. It will only be produced from sustainable sources to ensure the supply does not compete for food, water or land resources.
Airbus is continuously working with international, industry and cross-industry partners to fully explore the potential benefits of alternative fuels. To coordinate these efforts, the company developed its alternative fuels roadmap, which estimates that some 30 per cent of all jet fuel used in 2030 could be sustainable biojet fuel.