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Your email address will not be published.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 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

More in News

Qatar Airways Increases Shareholding in IAG to 25.1%

Neil SteedmanFebruary 20, 2020

TCI Reveals Top 10 Long-Haul and Short-Haul Booking Lists

Neil SteedmanFebruary 20, 2020

ITTN’s Top Travel Deals – 20th February 2020

Neil SteedmanFebruary 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Passengers Leave the Diamond Princess, ITB China Cancelled

Neil SteedmanFebruary 20, 2020

Summer Family Fun Offers on Haven Family Holidays with Irish Ferries

Neil SteedmanFebruary 20, 2020

Royal Caribbean International Signs Agreement with Antigua and Barbuda

Michael FloodFebruary 20, 2020

Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort to Host Spa Life Ireland

Michael FloodFebruary 20, 2020

FAMILY SALE NOW ON

Neil SteedmanFebruary 19, 2020

MAKING THE MONTH OF LOVE EVEN LOVELIER

Neil SteedmanFebruary 19, 2020

Copyright © 2019 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland