Air China to conduct first biofuel flight in mid-2011

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Air China is expected to conduct a demonstration flight with locally-grown biofuel in mid-2011 as part of a study by Boeing and PetroChina into a sustainable biofuel industry in China.

The flight will be conducted in end-May or early June, says a Boeing China spokesman. He says it is not clear yet what aircraft will be operated, but reports say the Star Alliance carrier will operate a Boeing 747 on a transpacific flight.

Boeing announced last year that it has signed an agreement with PetroChina to look into the aviation biofuel industry. The inaugural flight will be conducted using biofuel derived from biomass grown and produced in China. Other US companies involved in the project include Honeywell UOP, AECOM and United Technologies.