Australia’s largest airline Qantas plans to reduce carbon emissions on its Australia-USA service by using a 50% renewable fuel blend.

Over the next 10 years, Qantas would buy 30M litres (8M gallons) of renewable jet fuel annually from US-based biofuel firm SG Preston, the company said in a 13 October statement.

The group’s flight between Los Angeles and Australia would be powered by a 50:50 mix of renewable jet fuel produced from non-food plant oils and traditional fossil jet fuel.

The feedstock for SG Preston’s fuel was produced from renewable plant oils that did not compete with food production and met sustainability requirements, Qantas said.

The fuel was chemically equivalent to conventional jet fuel and adhered to same technical, performance and safety standards.

Qantas CEO Gareth Evans said the biofuel agreement – which followed Qantas’ successful domestic biofuel test flights – was the first of its kind in Australia.

Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia’s first biofuel test flights in 2012 on a 50:50 mix of fossil fuel and used cooking oil-derived biofuel certified for commercial aviation.

“Deals such as these are critical to the development of an aviation biofuel sector globally and the achievement of the aviation industry’s climate goals,” said Michael Gill, director of environment at the International Air Transport Association.