As we reported yesterday, British Airways made history when it performed a parallel take-off with Virgin Atlantic on its first flight to the US since the easing of travel restrictions.

But the dual take-off was not the only noteworthy point about the flight – BA has confirmed that the A350 aircraft which operated the flight was powered with 35 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The carrier said that it believes it was “the first commercial transatlantic flight to ever be operated with this high percentage blend of sustainable aviation fuel”.

The SAF was provided by BP, and is made from used cooking oil.

BA said that the combination of the SAF usage, alongside the “modern aircraft efficiency” of the A350, meant that the flight’s overall CO2 emissions were “more than 50 per cent less than those emitted by the now retired B747 aircraft that previously operated on this route”.

The carrier also confirmed that it had offset all emissions associated with the flight.

In September BA operated its first flight using SAF, on the carrier’s service from London to Glasgow, and pledged to do the same for all flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the COP26 conference.

British Airways operates first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) flight

Commenting on the news British Airways’ chairman and CEO Sean Doyle, said:

“While flying is vital to connect the world and support the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, it’s important for us to use this moment to demonstrate how we’re driving our decarbonisation plans forward, and what the future will look like for aviation.

“That’s why we’ve directly powered our first flight to the US today [Monday] with sustainable aviation fuel and offset emissions on behalf of our customers. We’re looking forward to the Government’s continued support to ensure the development and mass production of sustainable aviation fuel continues at pace.”