| TOKYO, June 23
TOKYO, June 23 Japan Airlines Corp 9205.T (JAL)
said on Monday it planned to fly Asia's first commercial jet
flight powered by biofuel before next March, as part of an
international drive to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation.
For the passengerless flight, JAL will use a Boeing 747
aircraft with engines made by Pratt & Whitney, the jet engine
unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N).
JAL will be the first Asian carrier to make such a flight and
the fourth worldwide after British airline Virgin Atlantic
[VA.UL], Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ) and Continental Airlines
"I believe we can help promote the development of biofuels
and contribute to the path for their practical use," JAL
President and Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu told a news
conference in Tokyo.
Soaring oil prices have also put airlines under pressure.
"It is problematic to depend on petroleum-based fuels also in
terms of sustainability," Nishimatsu said.
JAL said details such as the source of the fuel and the route
of the demonstration flight will be decided by August. Boeing has
previously been looking at algae as a source of biofuel.
Last month, JAL said it needed to raise the surcharges its
customers pay to help it absorb the sharp rise in the cost of jet
(Reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)