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.

"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 operated its first flight using biofuel, with observers on board. In 2010, KLM became the world’s first airline to operate a commercial flight using sustainable biofuel. But, soon after in 2010, the first commercial flight followed. KLM has operated more than a thousand flights using bio-based jet fuel to such places as Paris, Rio de Janeiro and from New York, and Oslo.

 

80% less CO2 emissions

KLM founded SkyNRG and initiated the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme to stimulate the demand for sustainable biofuel. With the help of this cooperative effort, KLM has been operating all of its flights from Los Angeles partially with sustainable biofuel since 2012. KLM is the only European airline operating intercontinental flights using biofuel.

By using sustainable biofuel, KLM 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 still three times higher than that of fossil fuel. KLM only purchases biofuels made from raw materials that have no negative environmental impact on biodiversity or food production. KLM is currently using sustainable biofuel made from used cooking oil (UCO).