Virgin Atlantic has firmed plans to fly one of its Boeing 747s using biofuel on a demonstration flight next month as a further part of efforts to evaluate possible alternative fuels for air transport.

The airline, working in conjunction with Boeing and engine manufacturer GE Avaition, will operate a demonstration flight powered with biofuel from London Heathrow to Amsterdam using one of its GE CF6-powered 747s.

Virgin Atlantic president Sir Richard Branson says: “This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its aircraft 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.”

The partners said they were aiming for a demonstration flight this year after first announcing their plans to team up on the biofuel initiative last April.

Virgin formed Virgin Fuels in 2006 to explore alternative energy sources; it plans to invest up to $400 million over three years in renewable energy initiatives.

Boeing has also announced plans with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and Air New Zealand to carry out a demonstration flight with one of the carrier’s 747-400s, powered in part by biofuel, during the second half of this year.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news