Japan Airlines becomes first Asian airline to announce plans for second generation biofuel flight
Japan Airlines Boeing 747-300
Tue 24 June 2008 – In cooperation with Boeing and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced it will conduct a demonstration flight early next year using a second generation biofuel blended with jet fuel in one of the four engines of a P&W JT9D-powered Boeing 747-300 aircraft. This will also mark the first in-flight biofuel test for Pratt & Whitney.
Boeing will conduct a preliminary biofuel screening evaluation after which the best performing biofuel will be selected by the end of August. JAL will provide the aircraft and staff for the one-hour flight out of an airport in Japan scheduled to take place before the end of March 2009.
“Our participation in the search for a viable second generation biofuel is a clear signal to everyone of our strong commitment to increasing the environmental sustainability of the JAL Group and the airline industry,” said Haruka Nishimatsu, JAL Group’s President and CEO at an event to mark the announcement. “For more than 15 years, our airline has been implementing a variety of measures designed to reduce and offset the impact our business activities have on the environment. Not only are we endeavouring to reduce our own footprint on the environment, but we are throwing our support and resources behind projects such as this, which will help in the wider battle against climate change and global warming.”
Nicole Piasecki, President of Boeing Japan, said: “Supporting Japan Airlines in this biofuel trial makes both economic and environmental sense. Together with Pratt & Whitney, we have an opportunity to write a new chapter in our relationship, one that will help pioneer new and sustainable biofuel solutions for the good of the entire commercial aviation industry.”
Todd Kallman, President, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines, said: “We are aggressively researching and testing alternative fuels for the aviation industry in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve engine efficiency and reduce airline operating costs. We look forward to working closely with JAL and Boeing as we continue this research.”
The JAL Group is targeting a 20% cut in the CO2 emissions of its fleet by 2010, compared to 1990 levels, having already achieved a near 16% reduction.
In the past five years, JAL has retired 90 aircraft and taken delivery of almost 30% of its current fleet, and has outstanding orders for a further 80 new aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
JAL says it recycles old crew uniforms as well as the aluminium cans, newspapers and magazines onboard its flights. It has fitted specially developed air-sampling equipment on its aircraft to help better understand the causes and effects of global warming.