Those boarding Finnair flights from Amsterdam to Helsinki sometime this week will likely fly into aviation history as the passengers aboard the longest (estimated 933 miles) commercial flight powered by biofuel.
Those boarding Lufthansa's flight number LH013 from Hamburg to Frankfurt, Germany on July 15th will fly into aviation history as the first-ever passengers to take a seat on a regularly scheduled commercial flight powered, at least in part, by biofuel.
Certifying body ASTM International looks to be just days away from officially approving HRJ (a hydrogenated biofuel that consists of a 50/50 blend of vegetable oil and kerosene) for use in commercial aviation. On June 8th, a deciding ballot passed through the ASTM's technical committees. Though approval is not yet official, Richard Altman, executive director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, told Flightglobal that "from a practical point of view, we are done."
Lufthansa, one of Europe's largest airlines, has been forced to delay its scheduled commercial biofuel flights due to fuel certification issues. The Germany-based carrier had originally planned to kick off a six-month long biofuel trial beginning in April, but the fuel to be used, a 50/50 blend of vegetable oil and kerosene, has not received approval from ASTM International.