Environmental Protection

KLM Flights Will Be Operated on Biofuel Made From Used Cooking Oil

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken another important step in aviation sustainability. In September KLM will launch more than 200 flights being operated on biokerosene between Amsterdam and Paris.

“KLM has once again shown it is stimulating the development of biokerosene”, according to Camiel Eurlings, managing director. “In November 2009 we demonstrated that it was technically possible to fly on biokerosene. Now, a year and a half after our first demonstration flight on Camelina, a new phase has been entered around the world, that of certification. Authorisation will soon be granted to operate commercial flights on biofuel. I am especially proud to announce that KLM will take this substantial step in September”.

The flights will be operated on biofuel made from used cooking oil. KLM is open to using different raw materials for the end product, as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria, including substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and minimum negative impact on biodiversity and food supply. All biofuels used by KLM also have to meet precisely the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene and must not require any adjustments to aircraft engines or infrastructure.

The fuel is produced by Dynamic Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG, the consortium launched by KLM and North Sea Group and Spring Associates in 2009. SkyNRG is actively developing a sustainable production chain for aviation biofuels. The sustainability of alternative kerosene depends on many factors and is assessed on a case-by-case basis. In order to be able in future to reach the right decisions in this area, SkyNRG is advised by an independent Sustainability Board, consisting of the Dutch wing of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Solidaridad, and the Copernicus Institute of the University of Utrecht. A positive recommendation from the Sustainability Board carries a lot of weight for KLM.

KLM also supports the view published in the WWF’s Energy Report which indicates that alternative fuels made from biomass are the only appropriate replacement for fossil fuels for such sectors as the airline industry.

“The route to 100-percent sustainable energy is enormously challenging," Eurlings said. "The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently. This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition. We really need to move forward together to attain continuous access to sustainable fuel”.

KLM has been committed to developing sustainable biofuel since 2007. Air France KLM is also an industry leader in the field of fuel efficiency. Air France KLM has been sector leader of de Dow Jones Sustainability Index for six successive years.

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