Passengers board today's Thai Airways Boeing 777 biofuel flight
Wed 21 Dec 2011 – Thai Airways today carried out Asia’s first passenger flight to be powered using sustainable jet fuel, which was supplied by Dutch supplier SkyNRG. A special flight of a Boeing 777 from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport carried VIPs, representatives from companies involved in the project such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce, and around 100 students and teaching staff. The aircraft was powered in both engines by a 50/50 blend of used cooking oil sourced from the United States and conventional jet kerosene. Tomorrow, a scheduled passenger flight between Bangkok and Chiang Mai will use the same biofuel blend. The flights cap a high-profile year for Amsterdam-based SkyNRG, with THAI becoming its tenth contracted customer worldwide and follows similar flights by KLM, Finnair, Thomson Airways, Air France and Alaska Airlines.
SkyNRG and THAI have also signed a long-term commitment to actively participate in creating a market for affordable sustainable jet fuel.
“THAI believes sustainable jet fuel will play an important role in the transition to a sustainable future for aviation and is willing do its part,” commented the airline’s President, Piyasvasti Amranand. “We intend to make sustainable jet fuel an integral part of our strategy. We support the SkyNRG ‘market making’ business model of demand aggregation. Structural demand for sustainable jet fuel will translate into stakeholder engagement and lower prices in the near future.”
Commented Dirk Kronemeijer, SkyNRG’s Managing Director: “We think the Asia Pacific continent has great potential to give a critical boost towards making the market for sustainable jet fuel that is affordable. THAI has made a fantastic step today but there is a lot more to come on this continent and we are determined to be there when that happens.”
SkyNRG, founded by Air France-KLM, North Sea Group and Spring Associates, was launched two years ago following a KLM biofuel test flight. It is advised by an independent sustainability board that includes WWF-NL, Solidaridad and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University, and applies principles laid down by the internationally-recognised Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG).
Photos from today’s biofuel flight (all photos courtesy: Thai Airways):
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