South African Airways have flown their first bio-kerosene fuelled flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. The kerosene is made from Solaris tobacco. An excellent result of a project partly financed through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Transition Facility.

Solaris Project is a collaboration involving Boeing, Sunchem, South African Airways and SkyNRG. SkyNRG cultivates Solaris and launched the project with Transition Facility funding.

This project brings the aviation industry one step closer to adopting green kerosene. Besides bringing innovation to the industry, cultivating this crop also has a huge impact on the farmers growing Solaris.

Solaris tobacco is cultivated in the Limpopo region of South Africa. Each hectare of land represents one full-time job.

The project envisages 250,000 hectares of Solaris tobacco cultivation by 2025. That should create huge new employment prospects and opportunities for farmers who have suffered from the drop in demand from the tobacco industry.