Finnair to operate Amsterdam-Helsinki biofuel flight

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Finnair has become the latest airline to announce plans to operate flights partially-powered by biofuel.

The carrier plans to operate a biofuel flight between Amsterdam Schiphol and Helsinki in the week beginning 18 July, using either an Airbus A319 or A320 aircraft.

Both engines will run on a 50:50 blend of biofuel derived from recycled vegetable oil and kerosene. The aircraft will be refuelled at Amsterdam Schiphol.

The alternative fuel will be provided by SkyNRG, a consortium launched by KLM, North Sea Group and Spring Associates to develop a sustainable supply chain for aviation biofuel.

Finnair said it aims to operate "at least three" Amsterdam-Helsinki flights, and hopes that "the adoption of 'green routes' by airlines will help accelerate the development of sustainable and affordable jet fuels".

A Finnair spokeswoman said that no firm date for the first flight has been set because there are still "technical and practical" issues to resolve with the supplier and the airport.

Beyond the three planned biofuel flights, Finnair is discussing its longer-term biofuel options "with multiple partners", said the spokeswoman.

Finnair claimed the Amsterdam-Helsinki flight would be "the longest commercial biofuel flight flown anywhere in the world to date".

KLM operated the first scheduled biofuel flight on 29 June, when it flew a Boeing 737-800 powered by a 50:50 blend of biokerosene derived from cooking oil - also supplied by SkyNRG - between Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa plans to become the first airline to begin regular scheduled commercial biofuel flights when it kicks off a programme of 1,200 flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt on 15 July.