Monday 22nd Oct 2018 - Logistics Manager Magazine

Virgin Atlantic is first airline to trial biofuel

Virgin Atlantic will fly one of its Boeing 747s on biofuel during a demonstration flight next month – the first commercial aircraft to run biofuel in-flight.
The flight, in conjunction with Boeing and engine maker GE Aviation, is part of Virgin’s drive to reduce its environmental impact. It is part of a major initiative among some airlines and Boeing to discover sources of sustainable aircraft fuel.
The 747 will fly from London Heathrow to Amsterdam, with no passengers on board, using a type of biofuel that doesn’t compete with food and fresh water resources.
Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said: “This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel sooner than expected. The demonstration flight will give us crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Virgin Group pledged to invest all its profits from its transport companies towards developing clean energy and with this breakthrough we are well down the path to achieving our goals.”
Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to enable customers to buy their carbon offsets onboard the aircraft during a flight. Its offset programme, launched last year, is a gold standard scheme which is also available to buy online.
Virgin Atlantic also placed Europe’s largest order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners last year, when it ordered 15 787-9s, with options and purchase rights on another 28 aircraft. The 787 Dreamliner is up to 60 per cent quieter and uses nearly 30 per cent less fuel than the Airbus A340-300 it will replace in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet.