Alaska Airlines to biofuel flights from SeaTac Wednesday

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 10:05 AM

SEATTLE -- Your next flight from Sea-Tac may get you across the country thanks to used cooking oil.
 
Alaska Airlines will fly start flying 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel, starting this Wednesday, November 9. Alaska Airlines, along with its sister carrier Horizon Air, will operate select flights from Seattle to Portland, Ore., and Washington D.C., using a 20% blend of sustainable biofuel made from used cooking
oil. Many of the airplanes used are Boeing 737S.
 
Biofuel testing has been happening over the past three years. The airline industry is shifting into a new gear, starting to conduct regular commercial flights that rely in part on biofuels because it is more economical and better for the environment. The use of bio-fuel also insulates airlines from the volatile world energy market, because it is produced in the U.S. The new fuel will not affect passenger ticket prices.
 
"I've been in the environmental industry for a while and it's kind of nice to see it finally occurring," said Lynn Bruner, Alaska Airlines passenger.

Bruner says the new fuel will sway her decision on which airline she will decide to buy her ticket. Others are more skeptical.
 
"If it saves us money I would care," said Josh Kowalkoski. "If it is less reliable, then I would care too."
 
Alaska Air Group estimates the 20 percent certified biofuel blend it is using for the 75 flights will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 10 percent, or 134 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 26 cars off the road for a year.

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