US airlines were racing this week to demonstrate their clean energy credentials, scheduling a number of flights partially powered by biofuels.
First United Continental announced the departure on Monday morning of Flight 1403 from Houston for Chicago – or the Eco Skies test flight as the airline called it – using a mix of 60% conventional jet fuel and 40% algae-based fuels.
Then Alaska Airlines announced it would operate 75 flights using a mix of 80% conventional jet fuels and 20% biofuels starting on Wednesday. Instead of algae-base, the airline is using used cooking oil or fast-food restaurant throw-aways, said Robert Ames, vice-president of Dynamic Fuels, which produced the fuel.
These flights could encourage the rest of the industry move towards cleaner fuels.