Air France launches one-year sustainable development showcase project involving weekly biofuel flight
First Air France Lab'line biofuel flight (photo: Air France)
Tue 28 Oct 2014 – Air France has launched a one-year programme, called ‘Lab’line for the Future’, to showcase various sustainable development projects the airline is undertaking. Starting last week, and running until September 2015, it will operate a series of weekly flights on the Toulouse to Paris-Orly route that will be powered by a 10/90 blended Amyris/Total biofuel. The farnesane biofuel was approved in June for commercial aviation use by certifying body ASTM International in blends up to 10 per cent. It is derived from a yeast fermentation process fed by sugarcane and was first used in a GOL flight between Orlando, Florida and São Paulo, Brazil the following month. Last month, Lufthansa became the first European airline to use the biofuel on a flight from Frankfurt to Berlin (see story).
Air France said it hoped the Lab’line biofuel flights would help make public bodies aware of a need to develop an aviation biofuels industry in France. At last year’s Paris Air Show, the airline and Total announced a collaboration with Airbus and Safran to start such an initiative and marked it with a demonstration flight at the show of an Airbus A320 using a blended Amyris/Total biofuel (see story).
Air France said the Lab’line programme would include regular events in partnership with the French civil aviation authority (DGAC), Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and aerospace companies such as Airbus, Safran-Snecma, Thales and Zodiac, as well as other large corporations.
“By involving itself in research and implementing innovations such as biofuels, Air France aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its flights and to build a more sustainable, more responsible and more environmentally friendly air travel,” said the airline’s CEO Frédéric Gagey.