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TheStreet Open House

Alaska Airlines Launching Biofuel-Powered Commercial Service In The United States

Stocks in this article: ALKTSN

SEATTLE, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Airlines will fly 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel, starting this Wednesday. These flights signal aviation's next era, where sustainable biofuels can provide a viable alternative to conventional fuel and enable airlines to reduce their environmental impact.

Two maiden biofuel-powered flights will leave Seattle on Nov. 9 for Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore. Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, will continue to operate select flights between Seattle and the two cities over the next few weeks using a 20 percent blend of sustainable biofuel made from used cooking oil that meets rigorous international safety and sustainability standards.

"This is a historic week for U.S. aviation. The 75 flights that Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will fly over the next few weeks reflect our longstanding commitment to environmental responsibility and our belief that sustainable biofuels are key to aviation's future," Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO Bill Ayer said. "Commercial airplanes are equipped and ready for biofuels. They will enable us to fly cleaner, foster job growth in a new industry, and can insulate airlines from the volatile price swings of conventional fuel to help make air travel more economical. What we need is an adequate, affordable and sustainable supply. To the biofuels industry, we say: If you build it, we will buy it."

Alaska Air Group's fleet of Boeing 737s and Bombardier Q400s are one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient among domestic airlines. Air Group has also led the industry with a variety of environmental projects to fly greener — from pioneering satellite-based navigation procedures to onboard recycling. But industry leaders agree that biofuels represent a critical element in cutting aviation's carbon footprint.

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