Qantas will operate a commercial flight powered by biofuel on 13 April 2012.
The flight, a Sydney-Adelaide return service operated by an Airbus A330, will be powered by a biofuel derived from used cooking oil, split 50-50 with conventional jet fuel. Produced by SkyNRG, the fuel has been certified for use in commercial aviation and endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund. Its carbon footprint is around 60% smaller than that of conventional jet fuel.
Qantas’ Head of Environment, John Valastro said the goal of the flights was to raise awareness about the potential for sustainable aviation fuel in Australia.
“We know that sustainable aviation fuel can be used in commercial aviation just like conventional jet fuel. But until it is produced at a commercial scale, at a competitive price, the industry will not be able to realise its true benefits,” said Valastro.
“Over recent months Qantas has been in discussions with government and industry partners about taking the next step – producing a clear blueprint for the establishment of an Australian sustainable aviation fuel industry.
“This needs to focus not on speculative technologies but on biofuels that are operationally feasible now, production of which could commence within the next few years – given the right conditions.
“We hope to accelerate the process in the coming weeks as we build towards this Australian-first flight,” he added.
The biofuel flight will depart Sydney at 1020 on 13 April, arriving in Adelaide at 1205. The return flight will depart Adelaide at 1335, arriving back into Sydney at 1600.