SpiceJet operates India’s first biojet fuel flight

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Aug 2018 08:19:28




Bombardier Q400 aircraft’s right engine was filled with 75 pc aviation turbine fuel and 25 pc of biojet fuel

NO-FRILLS airline SpiceJet on Monday operated India’s first test flight powered by biojet fuel, marking a new chapter in the fast-growing domestic aviation sector. The nearly 45-minute flight from Dehradun to the national capital was operated with a Bombardier Q400 aircraft, partially powered by biojet fuel made from Jatropha plant, according to an airline official. The flight landed at around 1150 hours here.

With the test flight, India has become one of the few countries and probably the first among the developing nations to use biofuel for flying planes. SpiceJet on Monday said it has successfully operated “India’s first ever biojet fuel flight”.

It also comes at a time when the airline industry is grappling with spiralling fuel prices that are impacting their profitability. However, use of biofuel for regular flights would take some time. For the test flight, which carried 28 people, including five crew members, the aircraft’s right engine was filled with 75 per cent aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and 25 per cent of biojet fuel, made from Jatropha plant, the airline official said. The fuel was prepared by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun.

The institute’s Director Anjan Ray said around 330 kg of biojet fuel was made for the little over 40-minute flight. Noting that it was a “historic occasion” to operate the test flight, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said India is the first among developing countries to fly flight powered by biojet fuel. In a release, SpiceJet said the advantage of using biojet fuel as compared to ATF is that it reduces carbon emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.