Monday, June 23, 2008

Japan Airlines to Make Biofuel Test flight


JAL 747-300
photo by Fran├žois Roche

by Matthew McDermott

We’ve documented pretty well the nexus of climate change pressure and rising fuel costs which are driving an increasing number of airlines to search for alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. Japan Airlines will join Air New Zealand, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic on the list of airlines investigating biofuels in an attempt to improve their environmental image and hopefully reduce costs.

Japan Airlines announced today that it will make a test flight by the end of March 2009 using a second generation biofuel, though it has as yet not said exactly what biofuel it plans on using. The one hour demonstration flight will take place in a Boeing 747-300 from an unnamed airport in Japan and will be the first biofuel test flight in Asia.

In touting the test flight, JAL CEO Haruka Nishimatsu said, “Our participation in the search for a viable second generation biofuel is a clear signal to everyone of our strong commitment to increasing the environmental sustainability of the JAL Group and the airline industry.”

Japan Airlines has a goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 2010 to 20% of 1990 levels, and claims to have already reached 16% of that goal.

:: Japan Airlines

No comments: