The First Transcontinental Flight In Aviation History To Use Biofuel


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The First Transcontinental Flight In Aviation History To Use Biofuel

By Steve Hall

August 7, 2011 - The Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) along with the Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), in coordination with Aeromexico and the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, launch this unprecedented first transcontinental flight on Friday using biofuel which flew over 250 passengers from Mexico City to Madrid. 

The flight was on a Boeing 777-200ER, with a General Electric engine that produces 12% less carbon dioxide per seat than its competitors. The biofuel was provided by Boeing Commercial Airplane and supplied by Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA).  

Biofuel is composed of a mixture of jet fuel and from the oilseed plant Jatropha Curcas. This low-carbon fuel meets all requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), The Department of Civil Aviation Airworthiness of Spain and the Mexican authorities.

Aeromexico, Boeing, and the Mexican Government participated in this historic achievement in global aviation, the first transcontinental flight, powered by a General Electric engine, in a commercial airplane powered by bio-combustible fuel. The flight used a blend of 70 percent traditional fuel and 30 percent biofuel, which was provided by ASA. This is composed of a mixture of petroleum-derived jet fuel and oil obtained from Jatropha Curcas oilseed plant, which is grown in several regions of the world including Mexico. 

Aeromexico, as a member of SkyTeam and Sustainable Aviation Fuels Users Group (SAFUG), has demonstrated its commitment to promoting the development of sustainable, alternative low-carbon fuels as part of the ecological initiatives. It is important to point out that despite the fact that this fuel is currently priced at a premium, starting with this flight Aeromexico will implement a program over the next year with Boeing 737-700 equipment powered by CFM56-7B22 engines, in coordination with ASA, of commercial flights using biofuel to destinations such as San Jose, Costa Rica. 

Boeing Commercial Airplanes who is providing the biofuel used on this flight, has repeatedly stated that the development of sustainable biofuel is strategic plan and has long worked closely with other industry players, such as academic institutions , governments and environmental organizations, to accelerate the availability of sustainable fuel sources and low carbon emissions.


In October 2009, Boeing and ASA signed memorandum, agreeing on a series of studies and formalizing this collaboration by a commitment to work through the roundtable for sustainable biofuels, a global multi-sector initiative. Meanwhile, the Spanish Department of Civil Aviation Airworthiness (ASTAM) and the Spanish Department of Aero Navigation and Civil Aviation, in various occasions, has said that the low carbon fuel complies with all safety and security requirements.

With this unprecedented transcontinental flight, the Mexican Government, Boeing and Aeromexico establish themselves as world leaders in biofuel development for aviation and reaffirm their commitment to work together to preserve the environment and contribute to reversing the impact caused by the aviation industry on the environment.

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