Racing to Fly With Biofuel

Air New Zealand, Virgin Air plan green commercial flights
By Vasiliki t Touhouliotis,  Newser User
Posted Sep 30, 2007 5:45 PM CDT
Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson, left, looks on as Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive of Boeing Co., speaks at a new conference in Chicago, Tuesday, April 24, 2007, where it was announced...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kiwis are planning to launch the first green commercial flight in about a year, the BBC reports. Air New Zealand promises to fly a 747 with 1 of 4 engines running on a kerosene-biofuel blend, but Virgin Atlantic may beat them to it with a bio-flight in early 2008. "It's not particularly a race, that's not the objective," says a spokeswoman.

Their flights are rousing critics who say that biofuels emit too many greenhouse gases and destroy wildlife with planted crops. Says an aviation group director, "it's become the flavor of the month for airlines to talk about biofuels, and for environmentalists to say they're not the answer." He claims that it comes down to one question: "Can we deliver on the supply side?"