When a brand new Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 flies from France to Hong Kong on Wednesday it will be partly powered by biofuel.
The 334-seat plane will have a 10 per cent blend of biofuel next to traditional jet fuel in its tanks which can hold 156,000 litres.
During previous deliveries of an earlier model of the plane from Toulouse in the south of France, the airline has used a sugarcane-based biofuel from a Brazil.
The use of biofuels has been supported by Airbus itself as well as fuel provider Total, which will be fuelling the A350-1000 on the day of its delivery.
Cathay Pacific has 20 of these technologically-advanced aircraft on order for delivery over the next four years.
Seven aircraft are due for delivery by the end of this year and will be used on long haul operations connecting to its Auckland and (during summer) its Christchurch operations, which use A350-900s.
The airline not only uses the sugar-cane biofuel - which has been used to power cars for decades - but several years ago it took an equity stake in a United States firm that aims to make alternative fuel from municipal waste for use on a commercial scale.
Cathay Pacific chief executive Rupert Hogg said the airline wanted to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Achieving carbon neutral growth from 2020 is an important target that we take seriously and using alternative fuels is one of the key strategies in helping us to do so. We will continue to support the development and usage of biofuel to reach mainstream commercial viability."
Cathay Pacific operated the longest biofuel delivery flight at the time when taking delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft in 2016. Twenty-two aircraft of this type have so far been delivered with a 10 per cent blend of alternative jet fuel in their tanks.
Compared to traditional jet fuel, biofuel can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent.
Cathay, in 2014, invested in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy which has been running waste to energy trials for several years.
Fulcrum broke ground on its first commercial-scale plant in Nevada last month, with operations due to begin by 2020.
When the factory is fully operational, it will produce more than 37 million litres of fuel per year, with Cathay Pacific being one of the first airlines to fly on fuel produced in this facility.
Fulcrum had run a trial plant in North Carolina to prove its technology, which uses extreme heat to break down municipal waste into basic elements, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which are then re-formed into a liquid.
Plastics, wood and metal are plucked out for recycling before the remaining largely organic material is processed.
The search for an alternative to kerosene-based jet fuel is quickening as oil prices again head up. There was a flurry of interest late last decade when fuel prices rose quickly but since then a commercial scale, sustainable fuel has yet to come into production.
Qantas has experimented with industrial mustard seed and may work with Air New Zealand to come up with an alternative.
At the International Air Transport Association meeting earlier this month attendees were told there were now 100,000 flights a year using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
However, this amounted to just 0.5 per cent of the industry's total fuel bill of around $200 billion a year.
"A massive uplift in production and use is necessary if the industry is to hit its ambitious goal of a 50 per cent cut in net CO2 emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 [levels]," IATA said.
Given the rising cost of bio-stock, a 100 per cent SAF flight might be unrealistic.
"What is needed in order to move forward is for the whole air transport 'eco-system', including governments, to play their part. Government support, of course, is crucial to the increased use of SAF. Current subsidy support for SAF is close to zero," said the association.