KLM is first in line to use biofuel, essentially recycled cooking oil, on regularly scheduled flights as of September. The Dutch giant will power their flights from Amsterdam to Paris with 100% green power in hopes of cutting the airline’s carbon emissions and contributions to global warming.
Passengers flying blue this fall on flights from Paris to Amsterdam are in for a treat. KLM will be powering 200+ flights on this route with biofuel, biokerosene to be more specific which is derived from used cooking oil. It was just 18 months ago that KLM was applauded for performing the first biofuel-powered flight carrying passengers, a 90-minute joy ride around Holland with around 40 politicians and economy ministers on-board.
In 2008 Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to fly a jumbo jet partially with biofuel and apart from KLM, British Airways and Continental are expected to follow suit in the near future in hopes of cutting the cost of fuel prices, thus making air travel much more sustainable and affordable. Price cuts to flights though wont’ be immediate. The catch is that producing biofuel is still largely expensive and challenging. But with innovation and new technologies, the process of making air travel 100% sustainable isn’t far off.
Air travel is responsible for 3% of the green house gases produced but this seemingly small number is increasing like wild fire. The European Union has told airlines that they have until 2012 to figure out how to change this, how to cut their current emissions by 3% or else they won’t be allowed to land on the Continent. Pretty hard stuff? Airlines must figure out new ways by choosing cleaner fuel, making better use of fuel consumption with lighter aircraft, economising on routes and operating flights at full-capacity.
While the air travel industry produces 3%, the world’s cattle population produces a whopping 18%. If you want to travel green, consider off-setting your carbon emissions for your flight and choosing the vegetarian meal option.
How else can airlines cut their carbon emissions? Is green travel the future?