virgin atlantic

December 5, 2023

Virgin Atlantic Marks First Transatlantic Flight Powered Solely by Sustainable Aviation Fuels


Virgin Atlantic has achieved a historic milestone with the first transatlantic passenger plane powered solely by alternative fuels, landing at New York's JFK airport from London's Heathrow. 

The Boeing 787 was filled with 50 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), comprising 88% from waste fats and the rest from corn production waste in the US. 

This achievement is a crucial step in the aviation industry's efforts to adopt greener practices. However, challenges remain, including a limited supply of SAF and the necessity for further technological advancements to meet ambitious emissions targets.

Sustainable aviation fuels can be produced from various sources, including crops, household waste, and cooking oils. In this instance, the SAF used was approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority after testing and analysis earlier in the month.

SAF is currently viewed as the most effective tool available to reduce net emissions, with the potential for lifecycle emissions to be up to 70% lower than traditional fuels. 

Virgin Atlantic's Chief Executive, Shai Weiss, expressed the significance of the flight, stating that it proves fossil-derived fuel can be replaced by sustainable aviation fuel, marking a momentous achievement for the industry.