• Boeing helps UK airline fly into biofuel history

    October 18, 2011 - On 6 October 2011, a 757 operated by Thomson Airways flew into aviation history as the first revenue biofuel flight in the United Kingdom. Powered by a 50-50 blend of traditional jet fuel and used cooking oil in one of the engines, the 757 carried 232 passengers on a four-hour flight from Birmingham, UK, to the Lanzarote, Spain.

    Boeing engineers assisted Thomson Airways by providing technical advice for the flight.

    “This flight underlines the fact that sustainable aviation biofuels are not a science project. They have become a reality,” said Richard Mills, Boeing Strategy Director, UK and Ireland. “We are proud to be able to support Thomson on this project.”

    “Our airline customers Thomson Airways intends to expand the use of biofuels across its fleet. “We firmly believe the adoption of sustainable biofuels … has the potential to reduce aviation emissions by up to 80 percent in the long term,” said Chris Browne, Thomson Airways’ Managing Director.

    The Thomson Airways flight follows other “firsts” in the biofuel arena. In August, Aeromexico flew a 777-200ER on the first commercial transatlantic biofuel flight. In June, KLM flew a 737-800 from Amsterdam to Paris as the first airline to operate a commercial flight on biokerosene. Glover said Boeing must support this momentum because sustainable biofuels need to be part of the solution for aviation to achieve carbon-neutral growth.