Thomson Airways will become the UK’s first airline to fly customers on biofuel when it operates a service from Birmingham to Mallorca, Spain next month. The carrier said the flights would operate on a 50/50 mix of Jet A1 fuel and recycled cooking oil in both of the plane’s engines. Subject to safety approval the service would then run weekly for a year.
Dutch flag carrier KLM has unveiled plans to use recycled cooking oil on 200 flights between Paris and Amsterdam. The planes will use biokerosene, a fuel derived from used frying oil, which has to be tested to meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene.
Europe’s first solar-powered rail tunnel has opened in Belgium. The two-mile-long stretch of high-speed track, near Antwerp, has been covered with 16,000 solar panels that will generate sufficient energy to power the country’s entire train network for one day per year, as well as cutting C02 emissions by 47kg million over the next 20 years.
A young British couple who set up an eco-tourism Lodge in Mozambique to help relieve poverty in the local community, have been named as one of the Tourism for Tomorrow Winners at a major Awards ceremony organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in Las Vegas.
As an organisation that encourages and promotes sustainable tourism, the World Travel & Tourism Council is leading by example by endeavouring to minimise the environmental impact of its foremost event, the Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which is currently underway in Las Vegas.
Plans to build the world’s first underground five-star hotel have been dealt a blow after local councillors rejected plans on environmental grounds. The future of the £72m project in Hersham, Surrey, UK will now be decided by an independent inspector.
TUI (Thomson and First Choice has announced 20 sustainable travel commitments for 2011. Launched at The Economist’s Sustainable Business Summit, the ambitious three year commitments reinforce the company’s position at the forefront of sustainable tourism – it is the only travel company to introduce such wide ranging and measurable objectives.
The SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service survey of the world’s leading airports reveals that India’s air travellers lead the world in using airline websites for carbon emissions offsetting with 44% of survey respondents at Mumbai International Airport claiming to do so. By comparison, only 6% did so among those surveyed at Frankfurt.
URBN Hotels & Resorts is collaborating with Vanke, China’s largest residential real estate developer, to construct and operate what will be the most forward-thinking, sustainably-built and green-operated hotel in Asia. The 20,000 square metre boutique hotel is part of a larger project which will become a 200,000 square metre commercial, retail and residential development in the Sanlin district of Pudong in Shanghai, China.
ABTA is calling on its members to seize the business opportunity presented by sustainability as delegates gather for the annual World Travel Market in London. Following its latest Consumer Trends survey, the trade body argues half of customers believe their travel company should ensure that they are helping the local people and economy.