Indonesia launches 1st commercial flight with palm oil-blended jet fuel

Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said it succeeded in flying a commercial passenger plane using aviation fuel blended with palm oil, the company’s president director said.

The Boeing 737-800NG aircraft with more than 100 people aboard took off from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten province on Friday to the Adi Soemarmo International Airport in Central Java, about 550 km away.

“This is the first time. After having carried out a successful trial, we used biofuel for a commercial flight,” Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra said at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The alternative jet fuel is produced by Indonesia’s state-owned energy firm PT Pertamina. Indonesia conducted its first test flight with a similar type of fuel on a plane in 2021.

As the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, the Southeast Asian country is making efforts to widen the use of biofuels to cut fuel imports.

“We will discuss further with Pertamina, Energy Ministry and other parties to ensure this fuel is commercially reasonable,” Irfan said during a ceremony, adding the plane was set to return to Jakarta later on Friday.

Garuda conducted several tests including a flight test on the new fuel earlier this month and an engine ground test in August.

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