The London to New York flight marked a world-first by a commercial airline
Virgin Atlantic operated the world’s first transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on Tuesday.
The Boeing 787 flight, which Virgin Atlantic christened Flight100, aimed to confirm the safe use of SAF as a drop-in replacement for kerosene or jet fuel derived from oil, with airlines arguing SAF is the only viable way to reduce the carbon emissions of long-haul flying in the medium term.
Flight100 departed Heathrow for New York following a year-long collaboration by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic and including Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Imperial College London, the University of Sheffield, consultancy ICF and the Rocky Mountain Institute, in partnership with the UK Department for Transport.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss said: “Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it’s the only viable solution for decarbonising long-haul aviation.
“There’s simply not enough SAF and it’s clear that in order to reach production at scale, we need to see significantly more investment. This will only happen when regulatory certainty and price support mechanisms that are backed by governments are in place. Flight100 proves that if you make it, we’ll fly it.”
Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson added: “The world will always assume something can’t be done, until you do it. The spirit of innovation is getting out there and trying to prove that we can do things better for everyone’s benefit.
“Virgin Atlantic has been challenging the status quo and pushing the aviation industry to never settle and do better since 1984. Fast forward nearly 40 years, that pioneering spirit continues to be Virgin Atlantic’s beating heart as it pushes the boundaries from carbon fibre aircraft and fleet upgrades to sustainable fuels.”
For more information, visit www.virgin.com