Qatar Airways on track for greener fuel
Qatar Aiways has said that it's seeking certification by year-end to use Gas to Liquid (GTL) kerosene fuels that would make it the world's first synthetically fuelled carrier.
The airline’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker told the Gulf Times that he expected certification from the FAA and EASA by the end of 2009 to use GTL kerosene oil for the Doha-based carrier’s engines.
“We need certification from these authorities before we can start using GTL in our aircraft engines. This is because our engines are made either by American or European manufacturers,” he said.
GTL kerosene’s properties are largely similar to conventional jet fuel and this means the GTL fuel can be used as a drop-in replacement without any need for engine modifications.
Petroleum giant Shell, which has a facility in Qatar in cooperation with Qatar Petroleum, said these synthetic fuels are greener because they contain virtually no sulphur.
At the 2007 Dubai Airshow, Qatar Airways signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Woqod as part of the flag carrier’s project to launch GTL-powered flights.
Qatar Airways will be the world’s first airline to power commercial aircraft with natural gas.
Al Baker said Qatari GTL producers would ensure an adequate supply for the airline.
“Since it is a normal fuel, the engines do not require any modification. Also, additional facilities are not required at Doha International Airport to store it,” he said.
Qatar Airways' cheif executive Akbar Al Baker