The Netherlands runs world's first biokerosene passenger flight

The Netherlands runs world's first biokerosene passenger flight

This is the future! Earlier this month, the Dutch government announced that the Netherlands had become the first country in the world to carry out a passenger flight partly powered by sustainable synthetic kerosene.

The Netherlands carries out world's first biokerosene passenger flight

The KLM flight was powered by 500 litres of sustainable kerosene produced by Shell, and took place in January. The kerosene is made up of a combination of carbon dioxide, water, and renewable solar and wind energy - both generated here on Dutch soil!

Passengers boarding the KL1703 flight to Madrid at Schiphol had no idea how significant their flight would actually be. The president and CEO of Shell Netherlands called it “an important first step,” while KLM president, Pieter Elbers, said he was proud of the airline for taking part in such a big step for the future of air travel. 

Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, was also positive about the future of the industry: “We are taking a great step in the new chapter of aviation. This promising innovation will be of great importance in the coming decades to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation. It is great that we were the first in the Netherlands to show that this is possible.”

Is biokerosene the future?

While this flight did mark an important milestone in the development of sustainable aviation, there is still a long way to go. Several airlines are already producing so-called biokerosene on a small scale, but there are no plans for the fuel to be developed on a larger scale in the near future, as resources are limited. 

A number of European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany and France, are calling on the European Commission to introduce a scheme that would force airlines to up their usage of biokerosene gradually over a number of years in order to ensure all air travel is carbon neutral by 2050. 

It is also worth noting that, while this flight marks a significant step in the fight against climate change, it will have effects on the cost of air travel. Producing sustainable fuel is not a cheap process, costing more than than the production process of normal kerosene, and so if biokerosene really is the future, you can expect flights will become more expensive in the future - good news for the planet, but not really for the travel industry, or the consumers footing the bill.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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