26 May 2011

Lufthansa's biofuel plans

update (18 July 2011):  Lufthansa launched a six-month biofuel trial on regular scheduled flights on Friday (15 July 2011). A Lufthansa Airbus A321 will fly the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Hamburg route four times daily. One of its engines will run on a 50/50 mix of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene.

Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa was quite optimistic back in November 2010 when Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber presented a biofuel project named "burnFAIR" aimed at underpinning the sustainability of air traffic. The airline's plan was to start using biofuel from April 2011, for a six month trial period, in a 50/50 mix with kerosene on its Hamburg to Frankfurt run.
Back in February 2011, Lufthansa had to postpone the project by at least a month because the biofuel was not certified in time by certifying body ASTM International.

Lufthansa, which is aiming to become the first airline to operate scheduled passenger flights powered partly by renewable fuel, will now hopefully continue the project anytime from late May 2011.
The good news is that the airline has already signed an agreement with Neste Oil, a Finnish oil refining company, for the supply of jet fuel derived from vegetable oil. No it is only up to certifying body ASTM International to let the project start!

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