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            september 22, 2019

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Carriers find sustainable biofuels financially unsustainable


Air Canada, Toronto's Porter Airlines, Aeromexico and Brazilian GOL airlines recently tested sustainable biofuel on flights between Montreal and South American destinations, but found them too expensive for continued use.
"To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it requires political will to scale up the use of biofuels. We need a clear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today's limitations," said Airbus chief operations officer Fabrice Bregier.
Such flights have been happening for years, but the cost of these small flight batches would be prohibitive on a larger scale, reported Atlanta-area Air Cargo World.
Currently, the cost of biofuel is the main barrier. While the demand might be there at a lower cost, the supply hasn't caught up, said the report.
The experiment was part of an initiative by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to meet recommendations of the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
Boeing environmental public relations officer Terrance Scott said 85 per cent of the cost of production is tied to feedstock - growing it, cultivating it and bringing it to market. Once producers figure out how to decrease their costs, biofuels will become more affordable."
Air Canada's Airbus-supported flight, which was partially fuelled by recycled cooking oil, was carried out to reduce emissions, said Mr Bregier of Airbus.
ICAO secretary general Raymond Benjamin flew on the Air Canada flight from Toronto to Mexico City to make his way down to Rio de Janeiro for the summit. But the Toronto-Mexico flight was just one leg of a journey that involved the other carriers. Mr Benjamin began his itinerary from ICAO headquarters in Montreal, travelling Air Canada, Porter Airlines, Aeromexico and GOL.

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