United flies on 100% SAF from Chicago to Washington

December 1, 2021 |

In Illinois, United operated an unprecedented flight that will serve as a turning point in the industry’s effort to combat climate change: for the first time in aviation history, a commercial carrier will fly an aircraft full of passengers using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). United also announced the second round of corporate participants in the airline’s Eco-Skies AllianceSM program to collectively contribute towards the purchase of SAF. 

The demonstration flight – which departed with more than 100 passengers from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and landed at Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport – was on a new United 737 MAX 8 and used 500 gallons of SAF in one engine and the same amount of conventional jet fuel in the other engine to further prove there are no operational differences between the two and to set the stage for more scalable uses of SAF by all airlines in the future. Currently, airlines are only permitted to use a maximum of 50% SAF on board. The SAF used on the flight is drop-in ready and compatible with existing aircraft fleets.

United is operated this unprecedented flight in partnership with Boeing, CFM International, Virent – a subsidiary of Marathon – whose technology enables 100% drop-in SAF, and World Energy – the world’s first and North America’s only commercial SAF producer.

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Category: Fuels

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