First-ever scheduled passenger biofuel flights begin

In a development affecting the whole of the airline industry, Lufthansa has launched the world’s first ever daily commercial passenger flights using biofuel on its four return daily flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Flight are using a biofuel blend using 50% Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), following the approval for the use of this type of fuel by the world fuels standards body, the ASTM, on 1 July and the publication of the approved standards on 13 July. The aircraft on the first flight was an Airbus A321 with IAE V2500 engines.

Airbus has been providing technical assistance and monitoring the fuel properties. The daily flights will initially continue for six months as part of the ‘Burn Fair’ R&T project to study the long term impact of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance.

“Lufthansa is the world’s first airline to utilise biofuel in daily flight operations. This is a further consistent step in the sustainability strategy, which Lufthansa has for years been successfully pursuing. We want to secure future sustainable mobility by conducting research and development work today,” commented Christoph Franz, Lufthansa CEO.

“Fuel quality is a critical issue in aviation. Neste Oil’s NExBTL technology is very well-suited to producing aviation fuel that meets the aviation industry’s toughest quality standard,” explained Matti Lievonen, Neste Oil’s president and CEO. “Being a pioneer in this area, we are very proud to co-operate with Airbus and Lufthansa. We believe that renewable aviation fuels have real potential for the future.”

“Airbus is proud of its role as catalyst in bringing together various stakeholders to speed up the commercialisation of biofuels. These daily biofuel flights are a significant step forward in our industry-wide pursuit of a sustainable future for aviation,” declared Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO.

The renewable aviation biofuel, is being provided by Finland-based Neste Oil and all of the renewable raw materials used to produce it (NExBTL) comply with the EU’s stringent sustainability criteria and are fully traceable back to their source.

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