Cathay Pacific to power its A350-1000s with biofuel

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Cathay Pacific is planning to use a blend of alternative jet fuel to fly its new fleet of Airbus A350-1000s home to Hong Kong.

The airline has 20 of these aircraft on order for delivery over the next four years, with the first A350-1000 departing Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France on 19 June, with a further seven due for delivery by the end of 2018.

Cathay Pacific chief executive officer, Rupert Hogg says: “We have been at the forefront of many initiatives to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving carbon neutral growth from 2020 is an important target that we take seriously and using alternative fuels is one of the key strategies in helping us to do so. We will continue to support the development and usage of biofuel to reach mainstream commercial viability.”

Cathay Pacific operated the longest biofuel delivery flight at the time when taking delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in 2016, and 22 aircraft of this type have been delivered with a 10 per cent blend of alternative jet fuel in their tanks.

Compared to traditional jet fuel, biofuel can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent.

Airbus head of new energies, Frederic Eychenne says: “Through the use of the A350-1000 and low carbon fuels, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to support the aviation sector and our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Cathay Pacific became an equity investor in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy in 2014, which focuses on turning municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel.

In May 2018 Fulcrum broke ground on its first commercial scale plant in Nevada, which will produce over 10 million gallons of fuel per year when it begins operations in 2020.