German flag carrier Lufthansa last Friday launched the world’s first scheduled flights using biofuel, commencing a six-month trial of a 50/50 mix of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene on a four times daily Airbus A321 service between Hamburg and Frankfurt.
As well as targeting reduced CO2 emissions, the trial will examine the effects of biofuel on the maintenance and lifespan of aircraft engines.
Originating from a sustainable supply and production process, the hybrid fuel can be used in all jet types without any need for modifications to the aircraft and is expected to reduce the airline’s CO2 emission by up to 1,500 tonnes during the trial.
Approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the biofuel is produced by Neste Oil, a Finnish oil company with whom Lufthansa has been a partner for many years.
The cost of the trial has been estimated at 6.6 million Euros, with the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology awarding 2.5 million Euros in funding for the project.
According to Lufthansa, the airline has improved its fuel efficiency by over 30 per cent since 1991.