Virgin Atlantic flies from Heathrow on biofuel
Virgin Atlantic will become the first airline to run a commercial plane on biofuel when it flies from Heathrow to Amsterdam in February.
A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 will fly from Heathrow to Amsterdam on a demonstration flight with no passengers on board. It will use what Virgin describes as "a truly sustainable type of biofuel that doesn't compete with food and fresh water resources".
The flight from Heathrow is being staged in conjunction with plane maker Boeing and engine manufacturer GE Aviation, and is part of Virgin Atlantic's mission to reduce the environmental impact of its flights.
Virgin Atlantic president, Sir Richard Branson, comments: "This breakthrough will help Virgin Atlantic to fly its planes using clean fuel sooner than expected. The demonstration flight next month will give us crucial knowledge that we can use to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Virgin Group pledged to invest all its profits from its transportation companies towards developing clean energy and with this breakthrough we are well down the path to achieving our goals".
Last November Virgin Atlantic launched a carbon offset programme, claiming to be the first airline in the world to enable passengers to buy their carbon offsets onboard during a flight. Passengers can also buy carbon offsets online.
Virgin Atlantic has placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with options and purchase rights on another 28. The Dreamliner is said to be up to 60% quieter and to use around 30% less fuel than the Airbus A340-300 that it will replace in Virgin Atlantic's fleet.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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