United Airlines Blasts Into New Territory With First Commercial Biofueled Flight

Getting a leg up on the competition and also doing your part to help the environment is a bit of a coup, so props to you, United Airlines, for launching the first commercial flight in America powered partly by biofuel. Namely, algae jet fuel.

CNN reports on the flight, which used a partly algae-based fuel with a Boeing 737-800 from Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. While Virgin Airlines did use biofuel in 2008 in a test filght, this is the first airline to use biofuel.

Adds United in a statement, this pioneering voyage used a “blend of sustainable, advanced biofuel and traditional petroleum-derived jet fuel.”

Okay, so it was only partly biofuel, and this inaugural flight doesn’t mean every flight will use biofuel, but it’s a good start.

“The idea is to validate the technical feasibility and hopefully create enough demand where the alternative energy sources become economically valid,” said airline industry consultant Robert Mann.

America isn’t the first country to employ biofuel commercially, as Dutch carrier KLM has been running such flights since September.

Previously: Airlines Looking At Biofuel Options For Environmental Benefits

United takes off with first biofuel commercial flight [CNNMoney]