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Weekly flight using sustainable biofuel
KLM has taken an important new step towards making air transport more sustainable. From 8 March 2013, we will operate a weekly flight from New York to Amsterdam powered by sustainable biofuel for the next six months. A special milestone, because KLM, Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have joined hands in making these regular flights possible.
Every week, flight KL642 from New York to Amsterdam will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 powered by sustainable biofuel. With this step, KLM once again leads the way in the development of biofuel. Each of these flights will produce an average 24 tons less CO2. This is comparable to the emissions of an average car driving around the earth approximately four times (160,000 kilometres)! It also bears mentioning that the sustainable biofuel used for this series of flights will be refined from used cooking oil (2nd , which means there is no impact on biodiversity or food production.
Partners are essential
In recent years, KLM has made great progress in reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. We have initiated various fuel efficiency programmes, taken steps to reduce weight on board, invested in more economical and silent aircraft, and implemented recycling projects. One thing is certain: KLM can’t do this alone. We need to team up with partners to take the next step in making air transport more sustainable. Industry partners, but also government and customers are crucial for making further advances in the development of sustainable biofuel. In addition, we are working with partners to ensure greater efficiency in various phases of a flight. By way of an “optimal flight”, we want to assess how we can combine the use of biofuel with other efficiency measures, to demonstrate what is possible in terms of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Here too, we can only achieve our ambitions by cooperating with partners throughout the chain.
Why flights from New York?
KLM decided to operate its weekly biofuel flight from New York to Amsterdam because the Schiphol Group owns a share in Terminal 4 at JFK Airport and because Schiphol has gained a great deal of expertise in biofuel tanking. Schiphol can now share this expertise with JFK. The second reason is that Dynamic Fuel, which produces our biofuel, is based in the USA. Only the first biofuel flight, on 8 March, will fly from Amsterdam to New York.
KLM has already gained experience with biofuel-powered flights. In November 2009, we operated a demonstration flight. In June 2011, we operated our first commercial flight using biofuel from Amsterdam to Paris, with 171 passengers on board. In September 2011, we began operating a series of biofuel-powered flights on the Amsterdam-Paris route. And in June 2012, KLM operated the longest biofuel-powered transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Rio de Janeiro.
Partners also invest
The importance of partners is further demonstrated by the KLM BioFuel Programme, the first of its kind in the industry, which KLM launched together with SkyNRG in 2012. The programme offers businesses the opportunity to use biofuel for some of their corporate travel. This enables them to kills two birds with one stone, stimulating the production and development of sustainable biofuels, but also reducing their own as well as the overall CO2 footprint of the air transport industry. Our partners are also aware that we must join forces in order to achieve our ambition, which is to ensure the 1% of all KLM flights are powered by biofuel in 2015.
Graphic made by: Media Partner Group