Think of it as one small step for Boeing and one giant leap for the sustainable jet fuel supply chain.
Boeing said it will begin offering airlines the opportunity to power newly purchased jets with biofuel when the airlines take delivery of their airplanes, the manufacturer announced on Friday. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is the first to sign up for the option.
Sheila Remes, Boeing commercial airplanes’ vice president of strategy, made the announcement during the first-ever Washington State Sustainable Aviation Fuels summit in Seattle.
Boeing and Alaska Airlines were among the event’s sponsors.
“This is another step in our decade-long journey to encourage the adoption of sustainable fuels and help commercial aviation earn its license to keep growing,” Remes said during the summit’s final session. “We hope this new option will make it easier for them and others to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.”
Blending conventional jet fuel with biofuel can reduce airplane greenhouse emissions by up to 80 percent, studies have shown.
The biofuel option will be available for customers accepting new airplanes at Boeing’s delivery centers in Seattle and Everett, Washington.
Remes said the manufacturer will also incorporate biofuels into test flights at Seattle’s Boeing Field, and that the company is working on logistics to offer offer the option at its South Carolina Delivery Center.
Alaska Airlines will use the fuel when it takes delivery of three Boeing 737 MAX airplanes this year.
The biofuel blend will be produced by World Energy at its refinery in Paramount, California, the world’s first facility designed to commercially produce renewable jet fuel.
During the summit Diana Birkitt Rakow, Alaska Airlines director of external relations, and Scott Lewis, World Energy’s executive vice president, commercial operations & strategy, delivered separate presentations stressing the need for new partnerships and regulatory structures to advance the production and delivery of sustainable jet fuels.