SpiceJet to test India's first plane powered by biofuel on Monday

In a first in Indian aviation, SpiceJet will operate a demonstration flight powered by biofuel on Monday morning.

The airline’s Q400 plane will conduct a flight at Dehradun. If the test passes off successfully, the aircraft — powered by a mix of conventional air turbine fuel and biofuel — will operate a flight to Delhi.

The biofuel for the SpiceJet flight has been developed by Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. The fuel has been analysed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and Indian Oil.

“It will be a demonstration flight. There will be no passengers on it, except the airline executives and DGCA officials,” said a source. 
The first-ever flight using biofuel was flown ten years ago by the Virgin Atlantic airlines between London and Amsterdam. The International Air Transport Association wants biofuel flights to transport a billion passengers globally by 2015.

In India, eco-friendly fuel initiatives have failed to take off. In 2010, now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines had entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding with the Anna University in Chennai for a joint research collaboration programme to explore alternative energy sources. 

Initially, the plan was to develop biofuel for ground vehicles and later extend it to aircraft.