Lufthansa to use biofuel on flights by 2012 - CEO

HAMBURG Sun May 9, 2010 9:03pm IST

CEO of Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa Wolfgang Mayrhuber delivers a speech at a general meeting in Berlin, April 29, 2010.  REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

CEO of Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa Wolfgang Mayrhuber delivers a speech at a general meeting in Berlin, April 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

Related Topics

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Lufthansa is set to become one of the world's first airlines to mix biofuel with traditional kerosene on commercial flights as carriers seek ways to cut soaring fuel costs, its chief executive said.

The German flag carrier will start running its engines on some flights on a mix of biofuel and kerosene within two years, Wolfgang Mayrhuber told reporters on the sidelines of an event late on Saturday.

A spokesman for Lufthansa added the airline will likely decide on a more precise schedule by the end of this year.

Aircraft account for an estimated 2-4 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which scientists say could cause global temperatures to rise, triggering widespread disease, famine, flooding and drought.

Experts say global aviation emissions could reach 2.4 billion tonnes in 2050, which would be 15-20 percent of all CO2 permitted under a global agreement and a nearly four-fold increase on current levels.

Lufthansa rival KLM, part of Franco-Dutch Air France, last year became the first airline to test biofuel in a passenger airplane, filling one of four engines on a Boeing 747 with biofuel for a 1.5 hour test flight.

The carrier has said it aims to make commercial flights which use biofuel from 2011.

U.S.-based Continental Airlines, the U.S. airline that is set to create the world's largest carrier by merging with United Airlines parent UAL, had already used a mix of biologically derived fuel and jet fuel on a test flight.

Mayrhuber said Lufthansa had no plans to run individual test flights at this point. Instead, the carrier would wait until it could start using biofuel regularly on some routes to gather reliable data over a longer period of time.

In the long run, the use of biofuel is expected to save airlines money.

"First, we are hoping to get some resource security, and second, we hope that we will have some advantages in our costs for emissions trading," Mayrhuber said at the event, which celebrates 50 years of Boeing planes at Lufthansa.

The European Union is set to extend its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to airlines from 2012, and the less traditional kerosene airlines use every year, the fewer certificates they have to buy permitting them to pollute the air.

Lufthansa has estimated its annual costs from the ETS at 150-350 million euros ($201-470 million) once airlines join the scheme.

FILED UNDER:

Reforms Push

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

26/11 Plotter

26/11 Plotter

Pakistan to challenge bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Chinese Economy

Chinese Economy

China revises up size of 2013 economy, sees no effect on 2014 growth.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage