Virgin Orders Green Boeing Jets

After Richard Branson's £1.6 billion Pledge towards green fuels last year comes a new 'green' deal with Branson's Virgin Atlantic ordering 15 of Boeing's new 'green' Dreamliner passenger jets.

Boeing's new Dreamliner plane, the 787, is supposedly around 25% more fuel efficient than Virgin Atlantic's current airliner, the Airbus A340. The plane is also reported to be quieter which it is believed will come as a relief to communities living near airports. [When one of the new Virgin plane flies in, that may be the case, but in the grand scheme of things that sounds a little patheric to us - Ed.]

This move to buy new fuel-efficient Boeing planes, coupled with Richard Branson's Virgin Fuels research into a green aviation fuel, means that there is a possibility that there could be 'green' air travel when the planes are delivered in 2011. Virgin and Boeing have entered into a partnership to develop a new biofuel for their commercial jets as part of the effort to reduce carbon emissions.

However, with world air travel supposedly set to double over the next decade, an initial 25% fuel efficiency seems pretty minimal compared to a 100% increase in air traffic and aircraft pollution.

Which green fuel is to be used in the new Virgin fleet is not yet established with ethanol, a popular fuel in the emerging green car market but not at all poular with the Mexican people, being out of contention as it freezes at an altitude of 15,000 feet.