Thai Airways First Commercial Biofuel Flight

Thai Airways' inaugural commercial biofuel flight will take off on December 22, the day after a special introductory charter flight for media and project sponsors.


Carbon footprint trackers take note. Thai Airways announced it’s set to become Asia’s first airline to fly a commercial flight using only biofuels.

Piyasavasti Amranand, president of Thailand’s flag carrier, said the inaugural flight will take off on December 22, reported state-run MCOT. It’s part of the airline’s “Travel Green” initiative to reduce global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.

All revenue from the first flight — TG104 Bangkok-Chiang Mai — will reportedly go towards an organization that furthers the development of alternative energy.

But although Thai Airways says it will be Asia’s first to fly a commercial flight using biofuels, Air China actually launched a test flight using the eco-friendly gas back in October, reported Thaitravelnews.net.

Biofuel is sourced from non-fossil fuels, with two of the primary sources of fuels including starch to form bioethanol, as well as animal fats to form biodiesel.

As fantastic as it sounds in theory, many experts warn against relying on biofuels given the effect demand will have on global food prices and land use.

“Sustainable biofuels are safe, approved and airlines are using them for commercial flights,” said Tony Tyler, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, in a Bangkok Post article on the biofuel dilemma.

“With the potential to cut aviation’s carbon footprint by up to 80 percent over the lifecycle of the fuel, sustainable biofuels have the potential to be a game-changer. But they are still expensive and supply is limited. In other words, we need to commercialize them.”

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