Biofuel takes flight in Los Angeles - United Hub

Biofuel takes flight in Los Angeles

By The Hub team, March 17, 2016

When approximately 150 of our customers boarded Flight 708 departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on March 11, they became part of a milestone in commercial aviation. The Boeing 737 was powered by a blended biofuel made from agricultural waste and other natural byproducts.

"It's great to be part of this flight, and it's exciting to be the first U.S. airline using renewable energy to power our flights," said United First Officer Ernesto Alessio, one of Flight 708's pilots.

United has now moved the U.S. aviation industry beyond demonstration flights and is, for the first time, using biofuels in regular commercial operations. We agreed to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable biofuel from AltAir Fuels over a three-year period. We are now using the biofuel in daily operations at LAX, storing and delivering it the same way as traditional fuel – making LAX the first airport to incorporate biofuels into its fueling system.

To celebrate this eco milestone, we held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the LAX's Terminal 7 with customers, employees and United leaders, as well as industry and government partners including California State Senator Fran Pavley (D), California State Senator Ben Allen (D), California Assembly member Jim Frazier (D), California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott, Air Resources Board Member Hector De La Torre and Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint.

"It's an honor to be at the launch, celebrating this great achievement," said Jim Compton, United's chief revenue officer and vice chairman. "Supporting the commercialization of biofuels is good for both United and the United States – we are helping to diversify the fuel supply with sustainable sources of fuel, supporting energy security, and protecting against long-term oil price volatility."

The biofuel United is using is a blend of 70 percent traditional jet fuel and 30 percent biofuel, so it doesn't require any modifications to aircraft engines or airport infrastructure. It also undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets the same performance certification as our conventional jet fuel. To our customers and crews, the flight experience is exactly the same.


This alternative fuel is estimated to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by greater than 60 percent. This means fewer carbon emissions are produced throughout the whole lifecycle process, starting with harvesting the raw materials, refining the fuel, transporting the fuel and combusting the fuel in our aircraft engines.

"We're proud to be a leader in sustainable aviation biofuels for the airline industry," said Angela Foster-Rice, United's managing director for environmental affairs and sustainability. "We are committed to taking actions today to help build a more sustainable future for our customers, employees and communities."

United's partnership is with AltAir Fuels, and over the next three years, we plan to buy enough biofuel to power the equivalent of 12,500 flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Which means the Friendly Skies are about to get a whole lot friendlier to the environment.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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