Virgin Atlantic has made aviation history as it received £1m in government funding to operate the world’s first net-zero transatlantic flight.
The London to New York flight – which is set to take off next year – will be fully powered by sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) instead of kerosene.
A byproduct of solid waste and food scraps, SAFs reduce emission by 80 per cent over their life cycle.
They are considered the main tool aviation has to become net-zero by 2050 as the development and adoption of greener alternatives such as hydrogen or electric planes remain a few decades away.
Transport secretary Mark Harper said the project demonstrates “just how much we can achieve when we work together on a shared goal.”
According to estimates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global production of sustainable aviation fuels is set to increase 200 per cent to reach between 300 and 450 million litres.
Nevertheless, the industry is still lagging behind as forecasts predict that 450 billion litres are needed to reach net-zero by 2050.
Up until now, the UK has invested £165m to develop five production plants by 2025.