Air China, in partnership with Boeing, Honeywell UOP, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, PetroChina and Pratt & Whitne, on Friday successfully test flew a passenger plane powered by a mix of biofuel and traditional aviation fuel, which in the near future could help the country overcome crude oil shortages.

Mr Sun Li, General Manager of the China National Aviation Fuel Group Corporation, a large State-owned supplier of aviation fuel, said the fuel used was a 50-50 mix. The biofuel used in the trial flight was produced from the seeds of the Tung tree.

As one of the largest and fasting growing aviation markets, China needs to grow its aviation industry in an environmentally friendly and economical way, said Mr. He Li, senior vice president, Air China. This flight is an important milestone for Air China and the aviation industry, as it demonstrates that aviation biofuels are viable and sustainable.

Air China's inaugural biofuel flight shows true progress toward creating a greener future for the aviation industry, said Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney's vice president, Technology and Environment. Pratt & Whitney is committed to developing technology solutions that help the aviation industry grow in an environmentally and economically efficient manner.

The flight was completed as part of the Energy Cooperation Program's Sustainable Biofuel Program, led by Boeing and other industry members, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney. Announced by the Chinese and U.S. governments in 2009, the Energy Cooperation Program leverages government and private sectors for project development work in China across a broad array of clean energy projects.

Air China is China's national flag carrier for civil aviation and a member of Star Alliance. Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines.