Hainan Airlines yesterday foiled Dragonair's plan to make China's first passenger flight using biofuel made from cooking oil. The fourth-biggest airline on the mainland carried more than 100 passengers from Shanghai to Beijing in a Boeing 737 using biofuel made by state-owned oil giant Sinopec from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants. In a statement, Boeing China president Ian Thomas called the flight "a significant milestone" in China's commercial aviation industry. WATCH: A news report on China using old cooking oil as jet fuel Cathay Pacific Airways subsidiary Dragonair had been planning on making history with its biofuelled Flight KA859 from Shanghai to Hong Kong on the same day. It appeared to have gained clearance when it announced on March 13 in a press release that it would "operate its first-ever commercial flight using a certified sustainable biofuel blend" on March 21. "As well as being a first for Dragonair, this will also be the first time any international commercial flight has been operated from mainland China using a biofuels blend," the release read. A Cathay spokesman told the Sunday Morning Post the Dragonair biofuel flight did not take place as planned yesterday because of "a certification issue". The company declined to give further details, though the March 13 press release had said the biofuel was "fully certified". A Hainan Airlines spokesman told the Post : "We are aware Dragonair also had a biofuel flight planned. "I do not know why its flight did not happen. Perhaps we were just better prepared to get the certification in time," the spokesman said. The Civil Aviation Administration of China had to certify the fuel used on the flight, he said. He added that the airline would like to use more biofuel but had no plans for its regular use yet. Sinopec spokesman Lu Dapeng said in a statement that the company was very pleased "to accomplish this milestone". Biofuels, which emit 50-80 per cent less carbon dioxide than conventional fuels, are expected to help the aviation industry reduce its heavy carbon footprint, though cost and initial production capability have not allowed for their common usage. Lufthansa was the first airline to carry out biofuel trials on passenger flights in 2011. Last October, Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China launched a joint venture in Hangzhou to develop jet fuel from "gutter oil". Cathay Pacific in August made an equity investment in Fulcrum, a US-based biofuel developer, and signed up to a supply of 1.42 billion litres of biofuel over a 10-year period. Cathay declined to comment on whether biofuel to be used on the Dragonair flight came from Fulcrum or another supplier. "We are committed to using sustainable biofuels and will organise such a flight at another time," Cathay said.