Continental Airlines Monday operated its first US commercial flight powered by advanced biofuels. Flight 1403, a Boeing 737-800, departed Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport at 1030 for Chicago O’Hare International Airport, making it the first US airline to fly passengers using a blend of sustainable, advanced biofuel and traditional petroleum-derived jet fuel. The biofuel was derived from algae-oil that was refined into jet fuel by a company called Solazyme. United Continental has signed a letter of intent with Solazyme to negotiate the purchase of 20 million gallons of jet fuel per year, derived exclusively from algae oil, for delivery as early as 2014.
Operating the first US revenue advanced biofuel flight represents a major milestone in Eco-Skies, United’s commitment to leading commercial aviation as an environmentally responsible company by taking actions today that shape an environmentally sustainable future. Eco-Skies builds upon United and Continental’s solid track record for improving aircraft fuel efficiency and introducing sustainability programmes.