Boeing, Hainan Airlines and Sinopec celebrated China’s first passenger flight with sustainable aviation biofuel, a key environmental milestone for China’s commercial aviation industry on 21 March.
The regularly scheduled Hainan Airlines flight – which carried more than 100 passengers from Shanghai to Beijing in a next-generation 737-800 – used biofuel made by Sinopec from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants in China. Both of the airplane’s CFM International CFM56-7B engines were powered by a fuel blend of approximately 50% aviation biofuel mixed with conventional petroleum jet fuel.
“We are honored to see our airplane fly on sustainable aviation biofuel from Shanghai to our nation’s capital,” said Pu Ming, vice president of Hainan Airlines, who piloted the plane. “As a fast-growing domestic and international carrier, Hainan Airlines is demonstrating our environmental commitment by showing that aviation biofuel can play a safe and effective role in China’s air transport system.
Sustainably produced biofuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80% compared to petroleum through its lifecycle, is expected to play a key role in supporting aviation’s growth while meeting environmental goals. The Boeing Current Market Outlook has forecast that China will require 6,020 new airplanes by 2033 to meet fast-growing passenger demand for domestic and international air travel.