First flights run on sustainable aviation biofuel

Three hundred passengers were delivered from Johannesburg to Cape Town, South Africa recently via the first passenger flights powered with sustainable aviation biofuel.

The flights were offered by Boeing in cooperation with South African Airways (SAA) and economy carrier company Mango on Boeing 737-800 aircrafts.

Sustainable aviation biofuel is comprised of Sunchem's nicotine-free tobacco plant Solaris, refined by AltAir Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG.

"SAA is committed to a sustainable future and this flight highlights the bold steps we are taking to protect and preserve our environment while creating opportunities for the economic development of our people," Musa Zwane, acting CEO of SAA, said. "We are pleased to join the ranks of global airlines who have made a commitment to a better and cleaner way of flying."

The flights happened as Boeing, which has a significant manufacturing presence in North Charleston, was celebrating its 100th anniversary.

"It is fitting that on our 100 year anniversary we are flying on fuels that not only power the flight, but ensure a sustainable future for our industry," said Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa for Boeing International. "This project is a great example of environmental stewardship that delivers economic and health benefits to South Africa."

Boeing and SAA began a sustainable aviation fuels partnership in 2013.

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