A Qatar Airways A340-600 operating a flight from London Gatwick to Doha has made the first passenger flight powered by gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel.
The fuel was a 50/50 blend of conventional jet fuel and GTL developed by Shell, which recently gained certification from ASTM International. The State of Qatar is planning to put the fuel into commercial production from 2012.
“Once again, Qatar Airways has shown its commitment to the environment and we expect this alternative fuel to provide benefits, particularly the improvement of air quality,” said Qatar CEO Akbar al Baker, who was onboard the flight. “This milestone flight is the first step in making this alternative fuel available to airlines. Qatar Airways looks forward to continuing to work with the consortium members to further develop this exciting project and commit towards a cleaner environment.”
The first GTL flights were tested on an A380 in February 2008 on a flight from Filton in the UK to Toulouse.