Virgin Atlantic To Fly World’s First 100% SAF Transatlantic Flight

The 28th of November, 2023, pending further regulatory approval and testing, is when the world’s first 1000% sustainable aviation fuel flight across the Atlantic will occur.

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 and depart from London Heathrow before arriving in New York JFK. Overall the news that Virgin Atlantic is closing in on flights is noteworthy for the project and working towards being more sustainable when flying. A feat many airlines are attempting to achieve.

The 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel transatlantic flight will be a historic moment in aviation’s roadmap to decarbonisation. Alongside fleet transformation, SAF is the most readily available way for our industry to decarbonise, but currently there’s not enough supply and without it and the radical collaboration required to produce it, we can’t meet our 2030 targets. We need UK government support to create a UK SAF industry to allow for every single flight out of the UK to operate with 100% SAF – if we make it, we can fly it.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has announced Air Bp and Virent, alongside the test, as the two leading full suppliers to provide 60 tonnes of SAF.

In the lead-up to this flight, Virgin Atlantic saw a SAF blend of 12% aromatics and 88% HEFA, completing a very successful ground test with the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine. Had this not gone according to plan, the full SAF flight scheduled for November would’ve occurred later.

Virgin Atlantic aims to meet the mission of Net Zero by 2050, and the 100% SAF flight test is one of the many initiatives the company is looking to become more sustainable.


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