KLM used 50/50 blend for first scheduled biofuel flight

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KLM used a 50/50 blend of kerosene and biofuel derived from cooking oil in both engines of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft it operated today between Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The biofuel was provided by US-based Dynamic Fuels and shipped to KLM's refuelling station in Amsterdam, said a KLM spokeswoman.

KLM was able to secure permission for the one-off flight from the Dutch transport ministry, despite the fact that certifying body ASTM International has yet to finalise the preliminary approval it gave in early June for the use of hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel in commercial aviation.

However, the 200 scheduled biofuel flights that KLM plans to begin in September are dependent on securing final ASTM approval, said the spokeswoman.

KLM has not disclosed the amount of alternative fuel it has agreed to purchase from Dynamic Fuels, but said it is "suitable for more than 200 flights".

The carrier plans to use the same 50/50 blend it used in today's flight for the services it will operate in September.

The biofuel purchased by KLM cost three times as much as traditional kerosene, said the spokeswoman.

By using this 50/50 blend, KLM said its carbon dioxide emissions from the flights between Amsterdam and Paris would be reduced by an average of 50%. This takes into account the whole life cycle of producing the biofuel, including shipping it over to the Netherlands from the USA, said the spokeswoman.