It has been announced that British airline Virgin Atlantic plans to launch the first net zero transatlantic flight in 2023, making history within the aviation industry.

Net Zero Flight Details

After being awarded UK government funding, Virgin Atlantic announced the new flight, planned to travel from London to New York. Waste oils and fats will fuel the Boeing 787 aircraft in an attempt to introduce a low-carbon aviation industry (known as Sustainable Aviation Fuel).

Rolls Royce will additionally play a part in this plan as another Virgin Atlantic Boeing Flagship 787 will be powered by 1000 of their engines. Virgin Atlantic plans for the flagship aircraft to take off from London Heathrow airport and travel to John F Kennedy airport in New York.

new net zero transatlantic flights launched by Virgin Atlantic
The airline will make history with this development in 2023 © Virgin Atlantic.

Multiple Benefits

Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a source that has been used previously with over 450.000 flights either partially or wholly powered by this since 2011. However, its use has been limited due to costs and regulatory concerns.

Despite this, it has been proven that Sustainable Aviation Fuel positively impacts the environment. Planes using it in place of regular fuel can bring up to an 80% reduction in greenhouse fuels, so it will play a significant role in decarbonising aviation.

The UK’s Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, has stated that using sustainable fuel more frequently now will significantly benefit in the future.

“Not only will this flight pave the way for future generations, but it will demonstrate just how much we can achieve when we work together on a shared goal – bringing together some of the best businesses and academics in the world and led by a British airline.”

Flyers travel frequently from London to New York for economic and leisure reasons. Therefore this journey seems to be a good start for pinpointing and cutting down carbon emissions.

How do you feel about sustainable aviation? Please share your thoughts below.


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