updated 1/14/2008 11:03:42 AM ET 2008-01-14T16:03:42

Virgin Atlantic said Monday it would fly one of its Boeing 747 planes on biofuel during a demonstration flight from London to Amsterdam next month.

Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson said the test flight, which he called the first of its kind, would yield crucial information on how to reduce aviation's carbon footprint.

Branson launched an alternative fuels division at Virgin in 2006, pledging the profits from his airline and trains for 10 years.

In the middle of 2007, Virgin trains began a six-month trial of a passenger train using biofuel, an experiment the company said could lead it to switch its entire fleet over to a mix of diesel and biofuel.

His green private equity fund, the Virgin Green Fund, has invested millions of dollars in biofuel startups such as Cilion, Ethanol Grain Processors, and Indiana Bio-Energy.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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