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KLM and Costa Rica start unique cooperation to make aviation more sustainable

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The Costa Rican government and KLM have joined hands to combat carbon dioxide emissions. Over the coming months, they will research the possibilities of flying from San Jose using bio-based jet fuel. Right now, sustainable aviation fuel is the most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions and, in so doing, to make civil aviation more sustainable.

On 31 October, KLM and the Costa Rican government signed a letter of intent to ratify the cooperation. This is the first time in the world that an airline has entered into an agreement of this kind with a country.
“This cooperative effort is a new step in making civil aviation more sustainable. The greater the production – and, therefore, the greater the supply of biofuels – the lower the price will be and the more businesses will use it. KLM and Costa Rica are taking the lead, now. It would be great if other airlines, governments, and the entire biofuel supply chain took such steps.”
– René de Groot, Chief Operating Officer of KLM

“For Costa Rica, a country seeking to achieve carbon neutrality, it is very important to be the destination of KLM’s first flight. The company is concerned about the environment and is a worldwide example in the use of biofuels. Thank you for taking the lead and for showing other companies around the world that you can change customs for good of the planet.”
– Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy, Edgar Gutierrez Espeleta

In the months to come, KLM will share its knowledge and expertise with the Costa Rican government in close cooperation with its partner SkyNRG. In 2009, KLM was the world’s first airline to operate a flight using sustainable biofuel. At that time, the flight carried only observers. But, soon after in 2010, the first commercial flight followed. Since that time, KLM has operated more than a thousand flights using bio-based jet fuel from such places as Paris, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Oslo.
80% fewer CO2 emissions
In response to the demand for sustainable biofuel, KLM founded SkyNRG and initiated the Corporate Biofuel Programme. With the help of this cooperative effort, KLM has been operating all of its flights from Los Angeles partially on sustainable biofuel since 2012. KLM is the only European airline operating intercontinental flights using biofuel.
By using sustainable biofuel, it can reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as 80% compared to fossil fuels. The market for sustainable biofuel, however, is far from mature, so the price is three times higher than that of fossil fuel. For the time being, KLM is using sustainable biofuel made only from recycled cooking oil.

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