Virgin Atlantic’s first transatlantic flight by a commercial airline, Flight 100 powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), will take place from London Heathrow Airport to New York JFK Airport on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. was refueled prior to takeoff.
PA Media Assignment | Virgin Atlantic Airways
LONDON — The first transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel departed from London to New York on Tuesday, as the industry seeks to prove the feasibility of green air travel.
Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787s burn a mixture of 88% waste fat supplied by AirBP and 12% synthetic aromatic kerosene made from plant sugars.
According to Flightradar24 data, test flight VIR100, which carried no paying passengers, departed from London Heathrow Airport at 11:49 a.m. UK time (6:49 a.m. ET) and arrived at New York JFK Airport. It is scheduled to land shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Sustainable aviation fuel (also known as SAF) is a general term for non-fossil-based fuels, including biofuels derived from plant and animal raw materials, municipal waste, and agricultural residues.
Although it still produces emissions, proponents argue that the overall “lifecycle emissions” from this fuel are significantly lower than regular petroleum-based fuels.
Other airlines Have you ever used SAF? It can be used on commercial flights, but usually on short-haul flights, mixed with up to 50% of conventional fuel, which was previously regulated. Tuesday’s Virgin Atlantic flight was approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority earlier this month.
In 2021, a group of 60 companies in the aviation, transportation and cargo industries pledged to reach 10% of SAF usage in global jet aviation fuel supply by 2030.
The advantage of SAF is that it can be performed without modification of existing aircraft engines.many airlines pledged We are making investments to increase our fuel usage as we seek to reduce overall emissions during flight, including by using more fuel-efficient aircraft.
However, many challenges remain before widespread adoption, including supply shortages, high costs, and concerns about the sustainability of power generation.
There are relatively few factories producing SAF or companies shipping SAF around the world, and incentives for producers are hampered by low profit margins.
The Royal Society warned in a paper. report Earlier this year, it became clear that only some biofuels are net low carbon, and feedstock availability is a challenge for scale-up.
Some groups argue that increasing biofuel production risks exacerbating deforestation and food shortages, and reducing the environmental impact of aviation, which accounts for about 2% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. argue that the only way to do so is to reduce the number of flights.
Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said the flight showed that SAF could be used as a “safe drop-in replacement for fossil-based jet fuel, helping to decarbonize long-haul aviation.” “This will show that this is the only viable solution.”
“It is clear that there is simply not enough SAF and that significant additional investment will be required to reach large-scale production. “This will only happen if we do so,” he added.