Fill it up again

Last week, the 747-8 Freighter made history by making the first transatlantic crossing on biofuel. Now, a 737-800 owned by KLM wrote its own history. This week, KLM became the first airline to operate a scheduled commercial flight on bio-kerosene. That fuel was made from used cooking oil.


Flying into history… on cooking oil!

Flight KL1233 took off from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol bound for Charles de Gaulle in Paris carrying 171 passengers. KLM plans to operate more than 200 flights to Paris on bio-kerosene in September of this year.

Boeing has worked closely with engine manufacturers, regulatory and standards organizations, and airlines - including KLM — to make these kinds of flights possible and to enable regular use by all airlines. For this flight, a “no technical objection” evaluation was required for KLM’s 737-800. Boeing was happy to be able to support KLM in this historic flight. Once the new jet fuel specification is published in a few weeks, use of the new fuels will be fully approved for all users of Jet A/A1 fuel.


This week’s flight wasn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with KLM to showcase the latest trends in biofuel. Back in 2009, a KLM 747-400 flew a demonstration flight with one engine running on bio-kerosene. They decided to fill it up again, this time using bio-kerosene in both engines.

This innovation is very timely since the European Union is requiring airlines to cut carbon emissions by 3 percent on flights to the continent by late 2012. Over the longer term, this development will help the industry meet stated goals to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to continue to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

Congratulations to KLM for being one of the leaders in this new arena!

Comments (6)

Lee (Renton, WA, USA):

We understand that the 747-8F flight to Paris used 15% biofuel. What percentages of biofuel and Jet A were used on this historic KLM 737-800 flight?

James Robinson (Long Beach):

I have heard about people mixing used cooking oil with Diesel to burn in thier pick up trucks for years. It seems like a good concept and I understand jet engines can burn similar fuels to diesel engines in some circumstances.

I would like to see more articles educating us on the economics of burning used cooking oil or other alternative fuels, how it is determined new fuels reduce the carbon footprint, and limitations in the supply of alternative fuels.

My understanding is there are significant cost premiums associated with most alternative fuels.

Most alternative fuels I have heard about do require significant energy to be converted into Petroleum fuel alternatives. In some cases once the coal is burned to make the electricity which is used to process the biologically based material into an Petroleum alternative the carbon footprint reduction is very small.

Supplies of most Alternative fuels I have heard of are quite limited. For instance, I once heard even if the United States grew Corn on every acre possible there wouldn't be enough corn to make enough ethanol to meet our current level of consumption.

Most of the announcements I read about alternative fuels are emotional, based on some image of a cleaner planet, and do not actually educate people on the issues involved.

More Education would be greatly appreciated.

Russel Ahmed (Dhaka, Bangladesh):

This is BOEING..........Forever the Frontier...........A great Combination of BOEING & KLM leads to a fantastic result......737-800 flying on cooking oil.......That is why BOEING always rocks the sky like RAINBOW.....Being a Boeing Freak, I must say Any Airline, Any Where in this planet can rock the sky with higher sales revenue with complete FLEET BRANDING WITH BOEING. Salute to those passionate individuals behind this great effort. Always RANDY...MY BEST AVIATOR.....MY DEEPEST RESPECT always for your branding exploration thoughts.

Freddy Hagens (Kirkland, WA):

Go KLM and the Dutch! Makes me proud of my Dutch heritage, them being pioneers in this bio fuel arena. Great that Boeing provided the NTO. Just like the Dutch ships that sailed all over the planet in the Golden Years.

Een goeie vliegende Hollander....gefeliciteerd KLM!

Randy Tinseth:


I understand it was a 50-50 blend of kerosene and biofuel derived from cooking oil.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I am happy to see business like Boeing and KLM work together for cleaner air and a better environment and without government initiative. I hope to see more aviation businesses apply their innovation and knowhow for greener and ultimately better fuels.

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