Given the UK’s vibrant green movement and its dislike of air travel, this news is very clever. Thomson Airways will become Britain’s first airline to fly customers on biofuel made from cooking oil when it operates a service to Spain next month.
The airline said Friday it plans to operate a flight from Birmingham to Palma on July 28 once final safety clearance was received. Weekly flights to Spain using biofuel will begin in September for a year, on the same route initially and switching to Birmingham-Alicante during the winter schedule.
Thomson says flights will operate on a 50/50 blend of Jet A1 fuel and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids fuel made from used cooking oil, in both of the plane’s engines. KLM operated the world’s first scheduled biokerosene-powered flight on Wednesday last week when one of its 737-800s flew between Amsterdam and Paris, using the same mix that Thomson plans to use. Thomson MD Chris Browne said: “As sustainable biofuels become more commercially viable, Thomson Airways plans to expand its use of sustainable biofuels across its fleet over the next three years.” Using biofuels will help Thomson meet owner TUI Travel’s plan to reduce the carbon emissions from its airlines by 6% from 2008-14. This move should checkmate the Greens, make passengers happier about ignoring that silly carbon offset fee and pave the way for the rapid acceptance of biofuels by the airline industry.