Environment 70 Stories

Aruba and Bonaire on BioFuel

Published

16th May, 2014

On 16 May 2014, we launched a new series of flights using sustainable biofuel. For six months, 20 flights between Amsterdam and Aruba and Bonaire will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 powered by biofuel. This is yet another important step towards proving that more sustainable aviation is possible.

Following a demonstration flight in 2009, we operated more than 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris using biofuel. The following year saw the longest ever “bioflight”, from Amsterdam to Rio de Janerio. In 2013 we operated a weekly flight between New York and Amsterdam using sustainable biofuel from March to August.

We can now add to the list a series of transatlantic biofuel flights to the Netherlands Antilles. We are leading the way, with Air France and our partners, to show that sustainable aviation is not a utopian dream, but truly the way to cut CO2 emissions. KLM has even set itself concrete targets: a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 compared with 2009 levels. That is our ambition and perhaps explains why AIR FRANCE KLM currently tops the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 9th year in a row.

Lighter and more efficient aircraft

The use of sustainable biofuels is not the only way to make aviation more sustainable. Flying with lighter materials and more efficient aircraft with greater engine capacity, as on the routes to Aruba and Bonaire, also helps to reduce CO2-emissions. Consequently, we are making gains on several fronts at once in our bid for cleaner aviation.

The biofuel used in this series of flights was developed by ITAKA* and supplied by SkyNRG. ITAKA is a consortium of leading aerospace and fuel companies. Together they produce and test sustainable, renewable biofuels for use in aviation, for which they receive funding from the European Commission.

Who will win the Green Aruba Challenge?

Why Aruba and Bonaire? Because they have put sustainability high on their agendas. Under the heading “Green Aruba”, the island has set itself the target of becoming CO2 neutral by 2020. With KLM’s help, the island has set the Green Aruba Challenge to find promising sustainable solutions which can be implemented on Aruba. A wide variety of ideas have been submitted and the winner will be able to see their idea put into practice.

You have to collaborate to progress

An important partner for KLM in the process of making aviation more sustainable is WWF The Netherlands. KLM has been working with WWF-NL since 2007. Partnerships are essential to any efforts to increase sustainability. We are therefore thrilled to be able to welcome two new partners to our Corporate BioFuel Programme: Friesland Campina and Ricoh. They want a portion of their flights to be operated using sustainable biofuel. This will generate a clear signal and give an unambiguous boost to the further development of the biofuel market.

And yes, a lot more still needs to be done, but the biofuel flights to Aruba and Bonaire take us another step closer to an aviation industry which will eventually have an ever-decreasing impact on the environment. This is both our aim and our strategy.


** ITAKA: Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation


ITAKA is a collaborative project aimed at producing sustainable, renewable aviation fuel and to test its use in existing logistical systems and in normal flight operations in Europe. ITAKA is funded by the European Commission.

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