Air Canada Is The Latest Airline To Conduct Biofuel Flight

Air Canada is the latest airline to hop on the green travel bandwagon by conducting its first flight with sustainable fuel.

Flight AC991 took off from Toronto en route to Mexico City Monday, and, according to a press release, the flight will generate 40 percent fewer emissions thanks to the fuel and other fuel-saving measures. It's part of an environmental demonstration by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to coincide with the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

"Air Canada fully accepts its responsibility to reduce its footprint and our first flight using biofuel tangibly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the environment," said Duncan Dee, executive vice president and chief operating officer, in the press release. "Since 1990 our airline has become 30 per cent more fuel efficient and we are determined to increase these gains through cutting-edge measures."

The flight was powered by a 50-50 blend of regular jet fuel and that derived from used cooking oil. The blend was produced by SkyNRG, which has served other major carriers.

When Thomson Airways launched its biofuel flights in October 2011, they were powered by fuel from Dutch-based SkyNRG. KLM and Finnair did the same last summer.

Also in October, Virgin Atlantic announced it would be developing a low-carbon aviation fuel with New Zealand-based LanzaTech. And, in November, Qantas revealed its agreements with two manufacturers of alternative airplane fuels to develop algae-based and water-based jet fuels.