Bloomberg News

Iberia Flies Spain’s First Commercial Flight Using Plant-Fuel

October 03, 2011

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Spanish airline Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA today flew the country’s first commercial flight, on an Airbus A320 from Madrid to Barcelona using a blend of fuel made from the inedible camelina plant.

The fuel was produced by UOP LLC, a unit of U.S.-based Honeywell International Inc., according to an e-mailed statement today from Madrid-based Iberia. It was certified by the oil company Repsol YPF SA, and was mixed with traditional jet fuel so it made up 25 percent of the total.

Airlines on July 1 won approval from ASTM International, the U.S. technical standards body, to fly passenger planes using fuel made from inedible plants and organic waste mixed with petroleum-derived fuel. Approval allows for blends of up to 50 percent biofuel. Since then, airlines including Air France-KLM Group and Finnair Oyj have flown using such blends.

“The fight against climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, and biofuel is essential for reducing our reliance on petroleum, increasing our competitiveness, and achieving the ambitious emissions-reduction targets set by the airline industry,” Iberia Chairman Antonio Vazquez said in the statement. The number of passengers on board weren’t disclosed.

The International Air Transport Association, an industry group, set a target five years ago to eliminate carbon dioxide from air travel by 2050.

--Editors: Randall Hackley, Will Wade

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Louise Downing in London at Ldowning4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg in London at landberg@bloomberg.net


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