1 December 2010

Starting in April 2010, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 aircraft will be making the daily flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt run partially on biofuels. The airline will trail the biofuel blend, made of a 50/50 mixture of kerosene and hydrotreated vegetable oil in one of the aircraft engines for six months. It is part of the Lufthansa-led burnFAIR project, which is studying the long term effects of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Although the Brazilian airline TAM performed a test flight of a biofuel-powered Airbus A320 last month, Lufthansa claims to be the first airline to conduct a long-term train using biofuel during flight operations.

The biofuel that Lufthansa will use comes from Finland-based Neste Oil, where its feedstock is grown under sustainable-verified conditions to ensure it does not compete with food crops or forests for land and water. When consumed, the fuel should emit no more carbon dioxide than what its feedstock consumed while growing.

 Airbus will be providing technical assistance, and monitoring the biofuel properties. The project will cost Lufthansa an estimated £5.5 million, and should reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1,500 pounds (680kg) during its six-month duration.