The skies just got a little greener because of recent environmental initiatives by two major airlines.
JetBlue has committed to using a renewable jet fuel blend. The airline first used the renewable blend with the delivery of a new Airbus A321 aircraft on Sept. 20. As JetBlue adds additional A321 to its fleet, delivery flights will use a 15.5 percent renewable jet fuel blend.
Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to conventional jet-A fuel, performs the same and is as safe. Thousands of commercial flights have already flown with renewable jet fuel.
“This is another example of JetBlue acknowledging that a sustainable future for aviation will require cooperation between all parts of the industry,” said Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue. “Renewable jet fuel affirms JetBlue’s belief that we can help define our industry’s future path. Our goal is to serve as a market-maker for renewable jet fuel, creating demand and therefore supporting supply. We’re working closely with Airbus to set up infrastructure for more options in the southeast region.”
In addition to the renewable fuel, JetBlue seeks to fly more efficient aircraft and optimize fuel consumption. The aviation industry has a goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth beginning in 2020.
To further that goal, United Airlines aims to decrease greenhouse emissions in half by 2050. United’s pledge to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50 percent is equal to removing 4.5 million cars from the road each year.
To accomplish the company’s green objectives, United will use more sustainable aviation biofuels, add newer, fuel-efficient aircraft to the fleet and conserve fuel through more efficient systems.
“At United, we believe there is no point in setting challenging and ambitious goals without also taking tangible steps towards achieving them, especially when it comes to securing the health of our communities and our planet,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive officer. “While we’re proud to be first U.S. carrier taking such an ambitious step, it is a distinction we look forward to sharing as the rest of the industry catches up and makes similar commitments to sustainability.”
United kicked off its commitment to renewable energy with a Boeing 787 flight from San Francisco to Zurich which used a blend of sustainable aviation fuel. The flight was the longest transatlantic flight powered by a biofuel volume of this size. United has used more than 2 million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel since 2016 and accounts for more than 50 percent of the airline industry’s commitments to biofuel.
United has also invested more than $30 million in a California-based sustainable aviation fuel producer, Fulcrum BioEnergy.