Virgin Australia has become the first Australian airline to trial an environmentally friendly biodiesel on its ground service equipment at Brisbane Airport.
The biodiesel blend is a mixture of locally sourced tallow and used cooking oil, and was produced by Ecotech Biodiesel at a nearby facility in Narangba, Queensland.
Power baggage tugs and push-back vehicles will be powered with the biofuel over an eight-week period at Brisbane Domestic Airport, which Virgin hopes will reduce carbon and soot emissions.
The initiative reaffirms Virgin Australia's commitment to "reducing the environmental impact" of its operations both in the air and on the ground, in line with supporting its development of sustainable alternatives to locally sourced fossil fuels.
"Using a biodiesel blend in all of our baggage tugs and push-back vehicles would help us reduce the greenhouse emissions generated by our ground operations," said Sean Donohue, Virgin Australia's group executive of operations.
"Biodiesel is commercially available now, cost-competitive with conventional petro-diesel and helps improve our fuel economy.
"Should the trial be successful, we hope to roll out biodiesel to our ground service equipment in Brisbane and other mainline airports, leading to a reduction in over 300 tonnes of CO2 per year."
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