Three new flights kicked off over the weekend that I wish I’d been on!
Air France began nonstop service to Paris from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Sunday, March 25.
The service adds to Delta’s flights between SEA and CDG and kicks off with three times a week service (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on a Boeing 777-200 and increases to five times a week (adding Mondays and Tuesdays) during the summer season.
Air France first served Sea-Tac between 2007-2012, when that route was given taken over by Delta.
On Saturday, March 24, United Airlines kicked off seasonal nonstop daily service on a 787-8 Dreamliner between Denver and London Heathrow (LHR).
And over the weekend Qantas completed the inaugural – historic – flight for direct service between Perth, Australia and London. The 787-9 Dreamliner made the journey in ‘just’ 17 hours and 14 minutes.
Airlines have been testing a variety of aviation biofuels made from everything from sugar and used cooking oil to corn and forest wastes to replace some of the traditoinal jet fuel on airplanes and reduce carbon emissions.
On Sunday, Qantas gave it a try, flying its Dreaminliner 787-9 on the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia.
The 15-hour trans-Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne used about 54,000 pounds of blended biofuel made from Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed developed by a Canadian-based agricultural-technology company.
The ten percent biofuel blend delivered a seven percent reduction in emissions on this route compared to normal operations.
Carinata is a promising biofuel source, says Qantas, because it needs no speical production or processing techniques, is water efficient and is a good crop to grow in the Australian climate, either in fallow areas where food crops don’t thrive or in between regalar crop cycles to improve soil quality.
Expect more biofuel flights to and from Australia in the future. In 2017, Qantas announced a project to work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.
This wasn’t the first biofuel flight for Qantas. In 2012 Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia’s first biofuel trial flights using biofuel that included used cooking oil.