Environment 94 Stories

New series of biofuel flights

Published

31st Mar, 2016

On 31 March 2016, KLM initiated a series of sustainable biofuel flights between Oslo and Amsterdam. The series of daily flights is being operated by KLM Cityhopper (KLC) over a five to six week period using EMBRAER 190 equipment.

This means that around 80 commercial biofuel flights will supplement those flights operated previously by KLM on routes to Paris, Rio de Janeiro and the Dutch Antilles, and from New York.

Flying from Oslo

The flights will depart from Oslo Gardermoen Airport, the first airport to pump biofuel directly from the hydrant system since January of this year. The biofuel for these KLC flights however comes from separate fuel trucks. It is necessary to do this to compare the effectiveness of biofuel measure to traditional jet fuel. KLM has cooperated in the past with Airbus and Boeing to gather data on engine performance.

Sustainable biofuel

The biofuel is produced from 100% RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels) certified camelina. Camelina is an oilseed crop suitable for northern climates. It can be cultivated in relatively dry areas of thin soil as a rotation crop. KLM has used camelina previously as a raw material for sustainable biofuel and chooses to use raw materials that do not have an impact on biodiversity and/or food supply.

The fuel is supplied by SkyNRG in full compliance with EU guidelines on the use of sustainable biofuel. SkyNRG leads the world in the field of sustainable biofuel and enjoys an established partnership with ITAKA. Funded by the European Commission, the ITAKA consortium produces and tests sustainable biofuel for the aviation industry. KLM was the launch customer for this biofuel first supplied by ITAKA.

KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme

The biofuel flights have also been made possible by the partners of the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme: ABN AMRO, Accenture, CBRE Global Investors, FMO, FrieslandCampina, Amsterdam Municipality, Heineken, Loyens & Loeff, PGGM, Perfetti Van Melle and the Schiphol Group. The KLM Corporate Biofuel Programme enables businesses to ensure that some of their corporate travel is undertaken using sustainable biofuel. Participants pay a surcharge that covers the difference in cost between biofuel and traditional kerosene. In so doing, they confirm their leadership and actively contribute to making air transport more sustainable.

Reducing CO2 emissions

KLM has been investing in the use of sustainable biofuel for years now and aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% per passenger by 2020 (compared to 2011 levels) through fleet renewal, using sustainable biofuel and increasing flight efficiency. Because affordable sustainable biofuel is not always available, KLM also aims to stimulate the market for sustainable biofuel. KLM is “best in class” when it comes to fuel efficiency and leads the field with respect to using sustainable biofuel.

KLM’s recent inclusion of the EMBRAER 175 in its fleet ties in with the airline’s aim to further reduce CO2 emissions. This aircraft type is significantly more fuel-efficient in comparison with the current Fokker 70 equipment and is therefore more environmentally friendly. Using 18% less fuel, it also generates an 18% reduction in CO2 emissions.

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