JAL outlines alternative fuel commitment

23rd Jun 2008

Japan Airlines plans to make a significant
contribution to the search for a viable, sustainable, second-generation
biofuel for commercial use by the aviation industry. With the close
cooperation of Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, the airline will conduct a
demonstration flight to accelerate current research and development into
the creation of a second-generation biofuel. 

A second-generation biofuel will be blended with jet fuel and tested in
one of the four engines of a JAL Boeing 747-300 aircraft equipped with
Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines. The biofuel to be used has not been
decided yet. JAL will provide the aircraft and staff for the short
approximately 1 hour demonstration flight out of an airport in Japan
scheduled for the end of FY2008, the year ending March 31, 2009. The
flight will be the first biofuel demonstration by an Asian carrier, and
the first using Pratt & Whitney engines.

JAL, Boeing and Pratt & Whitney have specifically opted to use a
second-generation biofuel that is exponentially more efficient and
sustainable energy than first-generation counterparts. Second-generation
biofuels do not compete with natural food or water resources and do not
contribute to deforestation practices. First-generation biofuel sources,
such as corn and soybeans derivatives, typically require large areas of
landmass and are food crops predominately grown for human consumption.
Second-generation biofuels avoid the situation in which a food and fuel
directly compete for the same natural resources. 

The JAL flight demonstration will contribute significantly to current
research and development into the creation of a second-generation
biofuel tailored to the specifications of existing modern jet aircraft
and engines. The goal is to find an alternative fuel that will help
reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) generated by the
aviation industry, while also reducing the industry’s reliance on
traditional petroleum-based fuels.

At an event held to Tokyo to announce the planned biofuel demonstration
flight, JAL Group President & CEO Haruka Nishimatsu said, ‘Our
participation in the search for a viable second-generation biofuel is a
clear signal to everyone of our strong commitment to increasing the
environmental sustainability of the JAL Group and the airline industry.’
He added, ‘For more than 15 years, our airline has been implementing a
variety of measures designed to reduce and offset the impact our
business activities have on the environment. Not only are we
endeavouring to reduce our own footprint on the environment, but we are
throwing our support and resources behind projects such as this, which
will help in the wider battle against climate change and global


“Supporting Japan Airlines in this biofuel trial makes both economic and
environmental sense,” said Boeing Japan President Nicole Piasecki.
“Boeing salutes Japan Airlines’ ongoing efforts to demonstrate the
highest levels of environmental commitment through innovation and
continuous technological improvement. Together with Pratt & Whitney, we
have an opportunity to write a new chapter in our relationship, one that
will help pioneer new and sustainable biofuel solutions for the good of
the entire commercial aviation industry.”

“We are proud to partner with Boeing and our long-time customer Japan
Airlines to demonstrate the performance, safety and viability of second
generation biofuels as part of our ongoing commitment to the
environment,” said Todd Kallman, President, Pratt & Whitney Commercial
Engines.  “Pratt & Whitney is aggressively researching and testing
alternative fuels for the aviation industry in an effort to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, improve engine efficiency and reduce airline
operating costs. We look forward to working closely with JAL and Boeing
as we continue this research.”

The highest levels of safety will be adhered to throughout the whole
biofuel flight demonstration process. Boeing will conduct a preliminary
biofuel screening evaluation after which the best performing biofuel
will be selected by the end of August 2008. The biofuel will be used in
only one of the four engines of the Boeing 747-300 aircraft operated by

The JAL Group has been conducting a variety of measures that are helping
to reduce its environmental footprint. It is targeting a 20% cut in the
CO2 emissions per ATK of its fleet by 2010, compared to 1990 levels. It
has already achieved nearly 16% reduction since 1990.

Fleet renewal through the introduction of more fuel efficient aircraft
has been indispensable to the airline group achieving these CO2 emission
cuts. Almost 30% of the aircraft in the JAL fleet have been delivered in
the past five years as it has retired 90 older models. The airline still
has outstanding orders for more than 80 new aircraft, including the
super-advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

JAL’s environment-friendly activities range from the recycling of old
crew uniforms and aluminium cans, newspapers and magazines onboard our
flights to the fitting of specially developed air-sampling equipment on
its aircraft to help everyone better understand the causes and effects
of global warming. For further details, please visit
www.jal.com/en/environment/ .


Recommended for you

Follow Breaking Travel News

Travel Events Calendar

Media Partnerships

Global Restaurant Investment ForumThe Hospitality & Tourism SummitCATHIC
ITB AsiaChina Outbound Travel & Tourism MarketThe Travel Marketing Store
Serviced Apartment SummitWorld Travel MarketIMEX
AHICWTTCRoutes Online
UBM Aviation