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JAL plans Asia’s first biofuel flight

JAL plans Asia's first biofuel flight

Japan Airlines (JAL) is to help the aviation industry in the development of a sustainable alternative to traditional aircraft fuel.

The airline will launch Asia’s first commercial biofuel flight later this year in collaboration with Boeing and aircraft engine firm, Pratt & Whitney.

An exact date for the demonstration has yet to be set, but the airline has said the flight will depart from a Japanese airport before March 2009.

JAL will work with the two aerospace companies to decide which second-generation biofuel to use for the test flight.

Haruka Nishimatsu, JAL Group president and chief executive, said: "Our participation in the search for a viable second-generation biofuel is a clear signal to everyone of our strong commitment to increasing the environmental sustainability of the JAL Group and the airline industry."

The carrier recently increased its presence in Europe with flights to Japan from Manchester as part of a codeshare agreement with British Airways.

With the addition of Manchester to the JAL airline network, the carrier provides flights to 26 different European cities.

An upcoming codeshare with Vietnam Airlines will see JAL offer new flights to Vietnam from August.