Posted on January 13, 2013

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker today highlighted 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 in Doha, Al Baker spoke of Qatar Airways’ rise to be at the forefront of aviation research and innovation. The three-day conference being held in the Qatari capital provides learning opportunities and networking sessions as GTL leaders and pioneers worldwide come together to explore emerging plans and the future of new energy.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker listens to keynote speakers at the World GTL Conference in Doha today. He is joined by Deputy Chairman of the Board, Qatar Petroleum, Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi (left) and Chief Executive Officer Tasweeq, Saad Al-Kuwari (right)

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 the Gulf state. Al Baker addressed industry leaders, GTL experts, government representatives and industry peers, outlining  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, during his keynote 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.”

Added Al Baker: “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.

Akbar Al Baker addresses industry leaders, GTL experts, government representatives and industry peers at the World GTL Conference in Doha today, outlining the airline’s leading role in the use of natural gas as a source for a new and cleaner aviation fuel

One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 117 aircraft to 123 key business and leisure destinations worldwide, the latest being to Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the airline’s first route launch of 2013.

Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch flights to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including; Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).

Qatar Airways now flies 3 times a week to Yangon, Myanmar