November 30, 2010

Lufthansa To Test Biofuels On Some Flights

Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline, announced Monday that it will begin offering flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg next April with a new airplane that can use both biofuel and traditional jet fuel.

The Airbus A321 will make four trips a day between the two German cities. The plane will use a synthetic fuel -- based on vegetable oil -- that will be mixed with jet fuel and used in one of the plane's two engines, the airline said.

The biofuel will be used in the testing flights for about six months, Lufthansa told AFP.

Air Japan and Air New Zealand have already tested biofuels in their aircraft, but Lufthansa said they would be the first carrier to use the biofuel on a regular basis.

The airline planned to spend 8.7 million dollars on the project, with about 2.5 million dollars coming from government sources.

A Finnish company is supplying the biofuel to Lufthansa, which will cost as much as five times more than kerosene, according to Joachim Buse, who is heading up the test flights.

Buse told a press conference that the biofuel test flights should produce about 1,650 tons less carbon dioxide emissions over the six-month period.

Lufthansa forecasts about 5 to 10 percent of its flights using biofuels by 2020, depending on availability and market conditions, said Buse.


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