The inaugural transatlantic flight utilizing 100% pure sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) embarked from Heathrow on Tuesday, November 28. The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner en route to New York JFK departed the airport shortly before midnight. Onboard were Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, and Mark Harper, the transport secretary; however, there were no paying passengers accompanying them on this historic journey.

SAFs, derived from renewable biomass and waste resources, can be incorporated into jet fuel for modern aircraft, up to a maximum of 50%, when blended with kerosene.

“The world will often doubt the possibilities until you turn them into reality,” remarked Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson prior to boarding the flight.

“The essence of innovation lies in venturing out and demonstrating that we can enhance things for the benefit of everyone.”

Virgin Atlantic shared a captivating video of this groundbreaking transatlantic flight. “A historic moment at 38,000 feet. Virgin Atlantic is presently conducting the inaugural 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel flight across the Atlantic by a commercial airline. Flight100 represents the culmination of over a year of revolutionary cross-industry collaboration to bring this vision to fruition,” the airlines expressed in the caption.

As per the UK government, this flight signifies a significant achievement in advancing eco-friendly air travel, aligning with the global objective of achieving net zero by 2050.

Last December, the UK government announced its commitment to allocate up to $1.26 million in support of this initiative, led by Virgin in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Boeing, the US aircraft manufacturer, and Rolls-Royce, the British engine manufacturer, as reported by AFP.

British Transport Secretary Mark Harper, speaking prior to take-off, affirmed that the government “will persist in backing the development of the UK’s emerging Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) industry, fostering job creation, economic growth, and progress towards Jet Zero.”

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