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BA’s First Transatlantic Flight Took Off After Restrictions Lifted

British Airways flight BA001 became the airline’s first flight to depart for the US on November 08, as the country lifted restrictions imposed on British travellers for more than 18 months.

The BA001, the flight number previously reserved for Concorde, departed Heathrow at 08:30 on November 08, in a synchronised take-off with Virgin Atlantic’s VS3 flight. Both flights were bound for New York, JFK.

The airline’s newest and most fuel-efficient long-haul Airbus A350 aircraft are up to 40 percent more efficient than the Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet aircraft that used to operate between London and New York. Combining this modern aircraft efficiency with today’s blend of SAF means the flight’s overall CO2 emissions are more than 50 per cent less than those emitted by the now retired 747 aircraft that previously operated on this route. The British Airways (BA) Airubs A350 flight is being directly powered by a 35 percent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) provided by bp and made from used cooking oil. It is believed to be the first commercial transatlantic flight ever to be operated with such a significant level of the fuel blended with traditional jet fuel.

In addition, British Airways also offset all emissions associated with the flight, to demonstrate the various ways in which the airline is decarbonising its operations.

In September, British Airways announced a collaboration with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel in respect of all flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK COP26 conference. British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group recently committed to operating 10 percent of its flights using SAF by 2030.

The lifting of US restrictions after more than 600 days means that fully vaccinated Britons are now able to travel freely between the two countries – something that has not happened since March 16, 2020. The changes have enabled British Airways to meaningfully re-start direct services to 17 US destinations.