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DOHA: Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker has stressed the leading role the airline is playing in global aviation utilising natural gas as a source for a new and cleaner aviation fuel.
Addressing the opening day of the World GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) Conference here, Al Baker spoke of Qatar Airways’ rise to be at the forefront of aviation research and innovation.
The conference comes just days after Qatar Airways became the first airline to operate a commercial flight from Doha using GTL jet fuel that is manufactured in a Gulf state.
Addressing the event, attended by top industry leaders, GTL experts, government representatives and industry peers, Al Baker outlined how the carrier’s ambitious GTL aviation fuel programme has helped boost Qatar’s profile as a leader in the use of this technology.
“As home to the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant here in Qatar, the Qatar Petroleum/Shell GTL Pearl production facility, Qatar Airways is supporting our country’s ventures in unique and ground breaking fuel research and production,” he said in his key note address.
“Now more than ever, airlines across the global aviation industry are actively exploring new environmentally-friendly fuels to drive greater cost and operational efficiency.
“Our mission to explore opportunities to utilise natural gas as a source for a new and environmentally friendly aviation fuel will enable a better future across the aviation sector.
“Qatar Airways began this journey five years ago with the aim of ensuring not only energy security and sustainable growth for our airline, but for the industry at large.
“Since then we have moved from a concept on paper to the commercial supply of GTL fuel at the New Doha International Airport which will open its doors later this year, providing all aircraft that land with the facility to refuel with gas-to-liquids jet fuel.”
Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways remains committed to implementing new ideas and initiatives that benefit our passengers, the environment and of course the efficient running of our airline.”
Last week Qatar Airways and Shell created another milestone when an Airbus A340-600 operated a commercial flight using GTL fuel from Doha International Airport for the first time for its journey to London Heathrow. The new fuel was the first to be approved globally in over two decades.