National airline Qantas has confirmed it will run the world’s first biofuel-powered flight between the US and Australia ‘early next year’.
The Los Angeles to Melbourne flight will see Qantas’ new Dreamliner being powered by Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed.
Canadian company Agrisoma Biosciences is behind the new fuel, and will work with Qantas to grow Australia’s first commercial crop by 2020.
The longer-term strategic goal of the partnership is to grow 400,000 hectares of Brassica Carinata which would yield over 200mn litres of bio-jet fuel each year, according to the airline’s CEO Alison Webster.
She added: “We are constantly looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations but when it comes to using renewable jet fuel, until now, there has not been a locally grown option at the scale we need to power our fleet.
“Our work with Agrisoma will enable Australian farmers to start growing today for the country’s biofuel needs of the future. The trans-Pacific biofuel flight is a demonstration of what can be achieved locally.”
Qantas has also recently taken shipment of its first Dreamliner which can fly direct from London to Perth, an important step towards its ambitions to fly non-stop from the east of the country to the likes of Europe and the US.