News

SAA Makes History with Africa’s First Sustainable Biofuel Flights

SAA Makes History with Africa’s First Sustainable Biofuel Flights

South African Airways (SAA) made history when an aircraft going to Cape Town from Johannesburg became Africa’s first to fly on jet fuel made from tobacco plants.

On 15th July, Boeing 737-800 flights on SAA and low-cost subsidiary Mango between Johannesburg and Cape Town were the first sustainable biofuel flights to take place on the African continent.

The flights used homegrown feedstock from the Marble Hall area in the Limpopo region of South Africa as part of Project Solaris, a biofuels project named after the energy tobacco plant used. The nicotine-free, hybridised tobacco plant lends itself to the production of biofuel as the Solaris plant produces small leaves, prodigious flowers and seeds that are crushed to extract a vegetable crude oil. The Solaris plant is ideally suited for this purpose as the remaining seedcake is used as a high protein animal feed supplement that also contributes to food security.

“The project has brought economic and rural development to the Limpopo province in keeping with SAA’s mandate to support the South African National Developmental Plan,” said Musa Zwane, Acting Chief Executive. “It establishes a new regional bio jet fuel supply chain of which we can rightfully be proud. We want to be flying 50% of our airliners using biofuels by 2022.”

This biofuel is refined to a high global specification and can be blended with conventional fossil jet fuel and used as a ‘drop in’ fuel. This means that no modifications to the aircraft or engines are required at all and the aircraft is simply fuelled with this certified blend. Aviation biofuels undergo more tests and have to meet stricter specifications than conventional jet fuel. All fuel used conforms to global standards.

The long-term ambitious goal of the programme is to operate all flights out of SAA’s hub at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on sustainable biofuels.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

More in News

IMG_3472

Turkish Airlines to North Cyprus

Michael FloodMarch 24, 2017
Government support needed to navigate challenges facing Irish Travel Trade
 
 
Dublin, 22nd March 2017  The Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Ireland’s largest ever travel trade show, took place in RDS Hall 3, Dublin 4, today to a large gathering of travel professionals from across the country. The event was an opportunity for travel professionals to meet and discuss the growing challenges facing the industry. Pictured at the trade show are Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA and Cormac Meehan, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA).
***NO FEE***
Photography: Conor Healy/Picture It Photography
For further information please contact:
Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie 01 668 0600 or 086 3587153
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie  01 668 0600 or 085 233 6033

ITAA President Calls on Minister Ross to Address Bonding and Brexit

Michael FloodMarch 24, 2017
Trailfinders 1

Trailfinders Ireland’s Award-Winning Ways

Neil SteedmanMarch 24, 2017
Valletta Waterfront

Valletta Unveils European Capital of Culture 2018 Programme

Neil SteedmanMarch 24, 2017
ITAA_17

Cormac Meehan Re-Elected as ITAA President

Michael FloodMarch 24, 2017
ASM Your Car Hire

Your Car Hire Appoints ASM as GSA for Ireland

Neil SteedmanMarch 24, 2017
Irish Ferries Haven_egg-cellent_newsite

Irish Ferries Unveils ‘Egg-Cellent’ Haven Offers

Neil SteedmanMarch 24, 2017
RCI 2018 SAILINGS ON SALE NOW

2018 Sailings Are On Sale Now

Neil SteedmanMarch 23, 2017
RCI BREAK FREE

Break Free!

Neil SteedmanMarch 23, 2017

Copyright © 2016 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland