Dutch sustainable air transport

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KLM biofuel

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated its first ever passenger flight powered by sustainable biokerosene this Monday. To give an extra impulse to sustainable air transport, the airline company also joined hands with North Sea Petroleum and Spring Associates to establish the SkyEnergy consortium.

“KLM leads the sustainability drive in global aviation. The Netherlands should make good use of this leading position to ensure clean, silent and sustainable air transport worldwide,” said KLM President & CEO Peter Hartman, according to a company-issued press release. “This is technically feasible. We have demonstrated that it is possible. Government, industry and society at large must now join forces to ensure that we quickly gain access to a continuous supply of biofuel.

KLM founded SkyEnergy together with North Sea Petroleum and Spring Associates. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will advise the consortium in relation to ecological aspects.

The development of biokerosene is a quest that KLM is pursuing in accordance with strict financial, technological and ecological criteria.

“The food chain may not be jeopardised, and production of biokerosene should not go hand in hand with deforestation or excessive water consumption,” said Mr Hartman, adding: “The conservation of biodiversity is, of course, also a precondition. Our cooperation with WWF is both important and inspirational.”

Johan van de Gronden, director of WWF The Netherlands: “The establishment of SkyEnergy is a groundbreaking initiative. KLM’s demonstration flight serves as a concrete step towards achieving a more sustainable future. We still have a long way to go in relation to biofuels for aviation, but by investing in this manner KLM is once again taking the lead.”

“KLM has been involved in biokerosene research since 2007. With the establishment of SkyEnergy, we are accelerating development and hope to achieve a market breakthrough. Within the consortium, we have clustered expertise and experience in legislation, ecology and technology, as well as the ability to develop biokerosene in an economically viable manner. We are moving forward with great resolve, but cannot do it alone. We need the efforts and support of government, industry and broader society.”

KLM and Air France are jointly pursuing an ambitious Climate Action Plan. The fruits of this endeavour are exemplified by the fact that Air France KLM has been the sector leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for five consecutive years.