Atlantic, one of the world's leading long-haul airlines, today said it will fly
one of its Boeing 747s on biofuel during a demonstration flight in February. It
will be the first time that a commercial aircraft has run biofuel in-flight and
is part of a major initiative among some airlines and Boeing to discover
sources of sustainable aircraft fuel for the future.
Virgin Atlantic 747 will fly from London Heathrow to Amsterdam on a
demonstration flight, with no passengers on board, using a truly sustainable
type of biofuel that doesn't compete with food and fresh water resources. The
flight, in conjunction with Boeing and engine maker GE Aviation, is part of
Virgin Atlantic's drive to reduce its environmental impact wherever possible.
The demonstration forms part of Virgin Atlantic's vision for what the aviation
industry can achieve by using clean-fuel technology to reduce carbon emissions.
Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, said:
breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel
sooner than expected. The demonstration flight next month will give us crucial
knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Virgin
Group pledged to invest all its profits from its transportation companies
towards developing clean energy and with this breakthrough we are well down the
path to achieving our goals.."
Atlantic became the world's first airline to enable customers to buy their
carbon offsets onboard the aircraft during a flight. Its offset programme,
launched last November, is a gold standard scheme which is also available to
Atlantic also placed Europe's largest order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners last
year, when it ordered 15 787-9s, with options and purchase rights on another 28
aircraft. The 787 Dreamliner is up to 60% quieter and uses nearly 30% less fuel
than the Airbus A340-300 it will replace in Virgin Atlantic's fleet.