:eco:Qatar Airways makes history with London-Doha GTL flight

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Qatar, the world’s largest natural gas producer, witnessed its national airline fly a plane using a fuel made of natural gas.

History was made in the skies of Europe and the Middle East yesterday when a Qatar Airways passenger aircraft flew from London Gatwick to Doha powered by a fuel made from natural gas.

The historic journey took over six hours and was operated with an Airbus A340-600 aircraft using Rolls-Royce Trent 556 engines. Shell developed and produced the 50-50 blend of synthetic Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) kerosene and conventional oil-based kerosene fuel. Qatar is set to become the world’s leading producer of GTL kerosene when it is put into commercial production from 2012 at Pearl GTL, Ras Laffan Industrial City.

The flight was the latest step in over two years of scientific work carried out by a consortium consisting of Airbus, Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Rolls-Royce, Shell and WOQOD into the benefits of using GTL Jet Fuel to power commercial aircraft.

A delegation of consortium members and international media was onboard flight QR076 for the milestone trip. Data from the GTL flight will be used by scientists in Qatar to further quantify GTL Jet Fuel use benefits.

“This milestone flight is the first step in making this alternative fuel available to airlines,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, who was onboard the flight.

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