Boeing, Hainan Airlines and Sinopec have completed a passenger flight powered by sustainable aviation bio-fuel.

The first-of-its-kind flight is said to be a key environmental milestone for China’s commercial aviation industry.

Hainan Airlines’ next-generation 737-800 on its flight from Shanghai to Beijing with 100 passengers onboard was fuelled with bio-fuel made by Sinopec from waste cooking oil.

Hainan Airlines vice-president Pu Ming said: "As a fast-growing domestic and international carrier, Hainan Airlines is demonstrating our environmental commitment by showing that aviation biofuel can play a safe and effective role in China’s air transport system."

"Sustainable aviation bio-fuel is claimed to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to petroleum."

Sustainable aviation bio-fuel is claimed to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to petroleum.

Sinopec spokesperson Lv Dapeng said: "For many years, Sinopec has maintained a leadership role in China in terms of the development and application of biomass fuel including aviation bio-fuel and bio-diesel.

"This fully represents an earnest commitment from Sinopec to continuously advance scientific and technological innovation and promote green and low-emission development."

In China, Boeing works with various stakeholders to develop sustainable aviation bio-fuel, including the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and several research institutions such as Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT).

In its current market outlook, Boeing projected demand for new aircraft in China to reach 6,020 by 2033.

The company also works with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders on aviation bio-fuel development in the US, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

Image: Hainan Airlines next-generation 737-800 is fuelled with a blend of sustainable aviation bio-fuel and petroleum jet fuel for the flight. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.