Qantas Airways to operate biofuel flight from LA to Melbourne by 2020
Last Friday, Australian based Qantas Airways announced that its Los Angeles based aircraft will be powered by biofuel from 2020 onwards.
The announcement came in the wake of a commercial agreement with US-based bio-energy company SG Preston, which was called a “landmark” agreement.
Over the next decade, Qantas Airways will be purchasing eight million gallons, i.e. 30 million liters, of renewable jet fuel each year, which will consist of 50 percent out of non-food plant oils blended with 50 percent traditional jet fuel.
Compared to standard jet fuel, the biofuel emits half the amount of carbon emissions per gallon over its life cycle.
Gareth Evans, CEO of Qantas International and Freight stated that the commercial biofuel agreement is the first of its kind in the Australian aviation history.
He said: “The partnership with SG Preston is part of our commitment to lowering carbon emissions across our operations and sees us becoming the first Australian airline to use renewable jet fuel on an ongoing basis”.
He added: “Through our biofuel program we are also exploring renewable jet fuel opportunities in Australia and continue to work with suppliers to develop locally produced biofuels for aviation use”.
Randy Delbert LeTang, SG Preston’s CEO commented: “Qantas is showing great leadership in its commitment to biofuels”.
“We look forward to providing a high-performance renewable fuel for one of the most important routes on their international network”.
Michael Gill, Director of Environment for IATA applauded the new partnership, as he underlined that “deals such as these are critical to the development of an aviation biofuel sector globally and the achievement of the aviation industry’s climate goals”.
In 2012, Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia’s first commercial flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel as a trial flight.
The flight was Sydney-Adelaide return and was powered by biofuel derived from used cooking oil, split 50:50 with conventional jet fuel.
International Civil Aviation Organization reached a carbon-offset agreement in 2016 which called for a worldwide reduction in commercial aviation emissions to 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050.