Lufthansa wants to test biofuels on German flights

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Europe's leading airline, Lufthansa, said Monday that it will offer regular service between Frankfurt and Hamburg in April with a plane that can use biofuel in addition to jet fuel.

An Airbus A321 will fly four times a day between the two German cities, and half of the fuel to one of two engines will be made up of a synthetic based on vegetable oil, the airline said.

The test is scheduled to last six months.

Air Japan and Air New Zealand have already tested biofuels in their airplanes but Lufthansa said it would be the first carrier to use it on a regular basis.

Lufthansa planned to spend 6.6 million euros (8.7 million dollars) on the project, with government funds accounting for 2.5 million.

The biofuel is to be supplied by a Finnish company and will cost "between three to five times more than kerosene," according to Joachim Buse, who is leading the test.

He told a press conference the use of biofuel should result in the emission of 1,500 tonnes less carbon dioxide over the six-month period.

Lufthansa would like to use biofuels for between five and 10 percent of all consumption by 2020, depending on its availability and market conditions, Buse said.

© 2010 AFP

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