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Flying the greener skies

Author Rachel Ayres

connections

As United celebrates 90 years of making aviation history, the company is again establishing itself as an industry innovator by being the first U.S. airline to use renewable biofuel on regularly scheduled passenger flights.

This biofuel—produced from non-edible natural oils and agricultural wastes—will be used on flights departing from Los Angeles International Airport. United is the first U.S. airline to purchase biofuels on an ongoing basis, taking the industry from demonstration flights to commercial deployment.

To the passengers and crew onboard these flights, there is no noticeable difference. The biofuel—produced by AltAir Fuels at its facility in Paramount, California—undergoes rigorous testing and meets the same performance certification as our conventional jet fuel. 

There is one important difference: This sustainable biofuel is helping reduce United’s carbon footprint. Using this alternative fuel will reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent. What this means is that fewer carbon emissions are produced throughout the entire process of fuel production, from harvesting the raw materials to refining and transporting the fuel to combustion in our aircraft engines. Biofuel also burns cleaner than traditional jet fuel.

“We’re proud to be a leader in alternative fuels in the airline industry,” says Angela Foster-Rice, United’s managing director for environmental affairs and sustainability. “We committed to reduce our carbon footprint, and this is the next step in our mission to be a sustainable airline.” 

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