Would You Like Frites with that Flight? Air France Powers Flight to Canada with Used Cooking Oil

Aficionados have debated what makes the best fries since the battle of Waterloo. Some say the older the oil, the better the crunch. Double frying has been touted as a sure-fire frites flavour enhancer. But reusing the oil to fuel a flight is a twist French chefs did not see coming. (or going)

On Tuesday, an Air France A350 flew from Paris to Montreal powered by a mix of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in its tanks, produced in France from used cooking oil. SAF has the potential to cut carbon emissions but at a much higher cost than traditional fuel.

Should we be storing our used avocado oil for the sake of the planet?

Ex-Air Canada cadre, Ben Smith, now AF/KL Chief Executive, said airlines have a “major responsibility to cut emissions”. And soon European carriers won’t have a choice in the fatter…er, matter.

Starting next year, flights departing from France will be required to use 1% SAF produced in Europe. Traditional network airlines have sought to exempt long-haul flights, arguing that a Europe-only SAF requirement could expose them to unfair foreign competition.

“We have to be on a level playing field,” Smith told Reuters. “We can’t have a situation where airlines that are based outside Europe can undercut us, (and) that is a real concern.” One can think of a few countries where cooking oil is used by the vat.

The green fuel used for the Paris-Montreal flight was produced by Total at its Oudalle plant near Le Havre as well as La Mede, a refinery in southern France.

Bon Appetit/ Voyage!

Nina Slawek


After decades of delivering marketing plans to airlines and ad agencies at an exorbitant salary, Nina decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of having her own business and working for nothing. As well as the pleasures of travelling, hobnobbing with industry leaders and glamorous appearances in the Open Jaw TV room, Nina has the additional joyful responsibilities of ensuring the financial stability of the company and managing the talented but eccentric Open Jaw team.

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