Finnair in the forefront of flying on biofuel

14th Jul 2011

Finnair has already for decades made a long-term commitment to sustainable development. Now is the time to take another major step towards sustainable air travel. Finnair aims to fly its first biofuel flight from Amsterdam and Helsinki next week. This will be the longest commercial biofuel flight flown anywhere in the world to date.

“We want to be a pioneer in sustainable development in air transport. Engine emissions account for the biggest environmental impact of flying, so investing in research into alternative fuels is a natural way to try to reduce the load on the environment,” says Kati Ihamäki, VP Sustainable Development at Finnair.

Biofuel refers to fuel made from renewable organic raw materials. The plants used in the production of biofuel absorb carbon dioxide, which is released back into the atmosphere when the biofuel combusts.

Finnair will accept for permanent use only a biofuel alternative that is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. For example, the cultivation of the biomass used in the production of biofuel must significantly reduce GHG emissions, must not compromise food production or lead to biodiversity degradation or deforestation.

For its first biofuel flight Finnair will use biofuel made from recycled vegetable oil (i.e. Used Cooking Oil) supplied by SkyNRG in a mixture that is 50% biofuel and 50% ordinary aviation fuel. Finnair and SkyNRG have agreed to jointly work on a structural supply chain, as both parties firmly believe that the adoption of “green routes” by airlines will help accelerate the development of sustainable and affordable jet fuels, which have the potential to reduce aviation emissions by up to 80% in the long-term. At this stage Finnair aims to fly at least three Amsterdam-Helsinki flights using a 50% biofuel blend in both engines. Refuelling is done at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.


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