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JetBlue And Airbus Take to the Sky Using Renewable Jet Fuel

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© JetBlue JetBlue�s Newest A321 Aircraft (Courtesy JetBlue)

By Mia Taylor, TravelPulse

JetBlue is about to begin its first-ever flights powered by renewable jet fuel.

The airline announced today that it has received its latest A321 aircraft from Airbus’ U.S. A320 Family production facility in Mobile, Alabama. The acceptance flight for the new plane, followed by JetBlue’s scheduled ferry flight (slated for September 20), will incorporate the use of a renewable jet fuel blend.

Provided by Airbus and certified by Air BP, the fuel is 15.5 percent renewable blended with traditional jet fuel.

Before the end of 2018, four more A321 aircraft are to be delivered to JetBlue and they too will be fueled with renewable jet fuel.

Approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to conventional jet-A fuel and poses no difference in performance or safety. To date, thousands of commercial, revenue flights have flown on different types of renewable jet fuel, the airline said in a statement.

“This is another example of JetBlue acknowledging that a sustainable future for aviation will require cooperation between all parts of the industry,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement. “Renewable jet fuel affirms JetBlue’s belief that we can help define our industry’s future path. Our goal is to serve as a market-maker for renewable jet fuel, creating demand and therefore supporting supply. We’re working closely with Airbus to set up an infrastructure for more options in the southeast region.”

After the JetBlue deliveries, Airbus will focus on offering this option to more customers taking aircraft deliveries from Mobile.

Longer term, Airbus envisions supporting the industrial production of sustainable fuels for aviation in the U.S.

Airbus also recently announced that its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile has officially received its ISO 14001 certification. The certification sets out criteria for an environmental management system, mapping a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up effective environmental management procedures.

Airbus was the first aircraft manufacturer to be certified ISO 14001 for all its sites, products and services.

“Our goal is to source sustainable fuels in the southeastern United States. It is an opportunity to work closely with local stakeholders to scale-up production and the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels in the region,” Frederic Eychenne, head of new energies at Airbus, said in a statement. “We are actively seeking ideas to leverage Airbus’ strategy into opportunities for new economic development in Alabama.”

JetBlue said it is seeking to be proactive about mitigating the impact of changes in the fuel market by flying more efficient aircraft, optimizing its fuel consumption, moving to renewable jet fuel, and more.

With an aviation industry-wide goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward, renewable jet fuel is a key aspect of JetBlue’s emissions reduction strategy. In 2016, the airline signed a deal and made an offtake agreement with SJ Preston for renewable jet fuel at New York’s JFK Airport.

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