A Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York City will last about eight hours, span around 3,500 miles -- and emit only a fraction of the planet-warming gases associated with a typical transatlantic flight. The British airline will run the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on 100% sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, becoming the first commercial airline to fly a passenger plane across the Atlantic Ocean by burning only fossil-free jet fuel. The flight will demonstrate ​“the longer-term potential of SAF to decarbonize aviation,” said Joey Cathcart, a senior aviation associate in the Climate-Aligned Industries Program at RMI, a clean energy think tank, who will be on the flight. Virgin Atlantic got special permits from aviation regulators in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US for its demonstration flight, which is one of a handful of recent initiatives seeking to prove that SAF can fully and safely replace fossil jet fuel on commercial flights.

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