Richard Branson, the business man that makes headlines seemingly every week. This time, it is for a green cause, he made history by becoming the first commercial airliner owner to fuel a flight with a partial load of biofuels.
The debatable point is this, it took the oil of 150,000 coconuts and some babassu palm oil to power only 20% of one of four fat tanks on one of his 747 Virgin Atlantic airliners. The headlined trip launched at Heathrow airport and touched down at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, making the mark on what some would claim could be a revolution in environmentally responsible aviation.
“Today marks a biofuel breakthrough for the whole airline industry,” Branson told a press conference held next to the aircraft in a Heathrow hangar. “Virgin Atlantic, and its partners, are proving that you can find an alternative to traditional jet fuel and fly a plane on new technology, such as sustainable biofuel.”
Branson has been publicly promoting his commitment to invest profits from his trasport empire into biofuel production. Critics dispute the green benefits of biofuels however, claiming that biofuels damage developing countries by driving up food prices and harm the environment by encouraging deforestation. In the end, it seems there is opposition to all atempts to do good, what a shame….