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Alternative fuels

United is excited about the innovation that alternative fuels bring to the airline industry. We are actively working with key partners to help aviation biofuels reach their potential for reducing emissions and providing energy diversification, and we’re proud to be a leader in alternative fuel advancements.

Our history of leading the industry in use of sustainable alternative fuels:

2009: We operated the first U.S. passenger biofuel flight powered with a mixture of renewable algae-derived jet fuel and conventional jet fuel.

2010: We launched the first U.S. biofuel and synthetic fuel demonstration flights.

2011: We operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by advanced biofuel.

2012: We launched the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). Learn more about MASBI

2013: We announced the first cost-competitive, commercial-scale purchase of alternative fuels by a U.S. airline.

AltAir deal: A historic milestone for aviation

United’s purchase of cost-competitive, commercial-scale alternative fuel was a first among U.S. airlines. With United’s strategic partnership, AltAir Fuels has built a 30 million gallon, advanced biofuel refinery near Los Angeles to produce low-carbon, renewable jet fuel. United has collaborated with AltAir Fuels since 2009 and has agreed to buy 15 million gallons of lower-carbon, renewable jet fuel and green diesel fuel over a three-year period, with the option to purchase more. The airline is purchasing the advanced biofuel at a price competitive with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel, and AltAir expects to begin delivering five million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year to United starting in 2015. United will use the biofuel on flights operating out of its Los Angeles hub.

Learn more about United’s alternative fuel accomplishments