United Airlines is to operate a sustainable bio-fuel flight from San Francisco to Zurich today (Friday) as part of a pledge to cut green house emissions in half by 2050.

A fuel efficent Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be powered by a blend of sustainable aviation fuel supplied by World Energy’s California-based AltAir Fuels.

The airline will use 16,000 gallons of biofuel at a 30/70 blend with conventional jet fuel for the flight to Zurich – the longest transatlantic flight to date powered by a biofuel volume of this size.

United has sourced more than two million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel since 2016.

The airline’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road each year, or the total number of cars in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

The airline plans to expand the use of sustainable aviation biofuels, introduce newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet and implement further operational changes to better conserve fuel.

CEO Oscar Munoz said: “We believe there is no point in setting challenging and ambitious goals without also taking tangible steps towards achieving them, especially when it comes to securing the health of our communities and our planet.

“While we’re proud to be first US carrier taking such an ambitious step, it is a distinction we look forward to sharing as the rest of the industry catches up and makes similar commitments to sustainability.”