JetBlue has launched a series of flights powered in part by renewable jet fuel blend: the airline’s first use of the blend was for the delivery of its latest A321 aircraft from Airbus, with four more A321 aircraft coming from Airbus to follow throughout the rest of the year. The delivery flights will all use 15.5% renewable jet fuel blended with traditional jet fuel. The fuel is provided by Airbus and certified by Air BP.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes says the company’s goal is “to serve as a market-maker for renewable jet fuel, creating demand and therefore supporting supply.” The airline is actively working with Airbus to set up infrastructure for more options in the southeast region, Hayes adds.
Following the deliveries in the US to JetBlue, Airbus will determine the next steps toward offering this option to more customers taking aircraft deliveries from its production facility in Mobile, Ala. Longer term, Airbus envisions supporting industrial production of sustainable fuels for aviation in the US. Since May 2016, Airbus has offered customers the option of taking delivery of new aircraft from Toulouse, France, using a blend of sustainable jet fuel. Following the deliveries to JetBlue, Airbus will determine the next steps toward offering this option to more customers taking aircraft deliveries from Mobile. Longer term, Airbus envisions supporting industrial production of sustainable fuels for aviation in the southeastern US.
JetBlue’s announcement comes just two days after United Airlines announced that it is committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. To reach its goal, the airline will continue investing in newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, implementing operational changes to conserve fuel, and expanding its use of more sustainable aviation biofuels, the company said.
United punctuated its announcement with a flight from San Francisco to Zurich using its most fuel-efficient aircraft – the Boeing 787 – fueled by a 30/70 blend of biofuel and conventional jet fuel. The biofuel comes from World Energy’s AltAir Fuels. United Airlines has sourced more than 2 million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel since 2016 and is responsible for more than 50% of the airline industry’s commitments to biofuel, according to the company.
Like United, JetBlue says it is proactive about mitigating the impact of changes in the fuel market by flying more efficient aircraft, optimizing its fuel consumption, and moving to renewable jet fuel.
With an aviation industry-wide goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward, renewable jet fuel is a key aspect of JetBlue’s emissions reduction strategy, the company says.
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