Lufthansa launches first-ever biofuel passenger flights

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Lufthansa is launching the world’s first-ever scheduled commercial passenger flights using biofuel in the first half of 2011, with an International Aero Engines-powered Airbus A321 aircraft.

Pending certification, one of the aircraft’s engines will use an equal mix of kerosene and a biofuel blend made from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), provided by Neste Oil.

Lufthansa chief Wolfgang Mayrhuber believes Lufthansa will save around 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the trial that will see the aircraft fly daily on the Frankfurt-Hamburg route.

The flights will begin in April 2011 and initially continue for six months as part of the ‘Burn Fair’ R&T project to study the long-term impact of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Airbus will provide technical assistance and monitor the fuel properties.

‘Daily biofuel flights are a significant step forward in our pursuit of a sustainable future for aviation,’ said Tom Enders, Airbus president and chief executive. ‘Airbus is bringing together feedstock producers, fuel refiners and airlines, and with today’s announcement of passenger flights we have taken yet another step towards making this real.’