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Virgin Atlantic Plane Makes First Transatlantic Flight Using Vegetable Oil

Founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic will launch its first flight from London to New York on November 28 using only clean, low-carbon fuel. It is made from waste vegetable and animal oils mixed with kerosene from corn waste, Virgin Atlantic said.

Billionaire Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson and UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper will be passengers on the first transatlantic flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Environmentally friendly aviation fuel is already used in jet engines mixed with traditional kerosene, but after successful ground tests, Virgin and its partners in Rolls-Royce, Boeing, BP and other companies won permission to fly clean SAF. Aviation accounts for approximately 2-3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions – clean fuels can reduce this figure, but they are expensive, meaning they account for only 0.1% of total aviation fuel used worldwide. The fuel that will be used on today’s flight was made primarily from used cooking oil and waste animal fat, as well as synthetic kerosene made from corn waste, Virgin Atlantic said.

By 2030, European airlines Virgin, British Airways and Air France want to increase the share of SAF to 10%, and by 2050 to increase this figure to 65%.

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