Virgin Atlantic has made aviation history by successfully operating the first commercial flight powered, in part, by a new kind of biofuel made from alcohol.

The carrier’s Boeing 747 flew from Orlando to London Gatwick with a fuel blend containing 5% biofuel, made from industrial waste gases converted into ethanol.

Virgin Atlantic’s founder Richard Branson said the fuel was cleaner than normal jet aviation fuel.

“From the globe’s point of view, if all fuel could be recycled fuel it would make a massive difference from a climate change point of view.”

Virgin Atlantic Founder Richard Branson

The biofuel, produced by start-up firm LanzaTech, is certified to make up as much as 50% of a plane’s total fuel supply. This could reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 65 % compared with conventional petroleum fuel.


Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said it was time for the government to allow such companies using carbon capture technology to be eligible for financial incentives and to support investment in the first plants to produce the fuel.

LanzaTech is aiming to open three UK plants by 2025, producing enough fuel to fly all Virgin Atlantic’s UK outbound flights in a 50/50 mix. AWESOME.


LanzaTech Chief Executive Jennifer Holmgren said waste carbon needed to be thought as an opportunity, not a liability.

Join us in congratulating Virgin Atlantic on their efforts.