Airbus has become the first manufacturer to power delivery flights with biofuel. The arrangement, which is now available to all customers as an option, was pioneered in partnership with Cathay Pacific and has been under trial since the carrier recieved its first A350 XWB in May 2016. All 15 examples – including the most recent, B-LRP (c/n 101) which was handed over on June 1 – have been powered by a 10% blend of sustainable jet fuel for the ferry flight from Toulouse to the carrier’s Hong Kong base.
Airbus says the biofuel delivery flight concept, originally devised by Cathay Pacific in 2015, is now in full operation and this latest flight confirms that the supply chain established by the manufacturer and partner Total is functioning correctly, from fuel production through to customer delivery.
Frederic Eychenne, Head of New Energies at Airbus, commented: “This is a major step for Airbus and a first for the regular delivery of new production aircraft. It enables us to demonstrate that aviation biofuels are a reality today. We now aim to expand this initiative to all our delivery sites, close to our customers.”
The first delivery flights from Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US, using this type of biofuel are planned for 2018. Airbus says its aim is to continue reducing the carbon footprint of each flight starting with the aircraft’s delivery.