Posted on January 09, 2013

Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatar Airways and Shell today celebrated the first commercial introduction of a new aviation jet fuel – the first to be approved globally in over two decades. The innovative GTL Jet Fuel blended with Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene from the world’s largest Gas to Liquids plant - Pearl GTL in Qatar - is now flowing into aeroplane tanks at Doha International Airport.

Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Sada, second right, with from left, Chairman of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi; Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker; and Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell, Wael Sawan addressing a press conference at Doha International Airport, ahead of the departure of Qatar Airways’ first commercial flight using Gas-to-Liquids jet fuel from Qatar

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi, Chairman of Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Akbar Al-Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways and Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell and Saad Al-Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer of Tasweeq today attended the inaugural fuelling of a Qatar Airways aircraft with GTL Jet Fuel at the airport.

An Airbus A340-600, flight QR001 will make history by being the first to fly outbound from Doha International Airport, en route to London Heathrow using GTL Jet Fuel.

This is a significant milestone for the giant onshore Pearl GTL complex, which is jointly developed by QP and Shell and is the largest energy project in Qatar. Fully approved for use as an aviation fuel, GTL Jet Fuel is a blend of up to 50% GTL Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene (SPK) meeting the stringent requirements of ASTM-D-7566 and conventional crude oil-derived standard jet fuel (Jet A-1).

A packed press conference attended by media, airline and government officials at Doha International Airport heard about the airline’s first commercial GTL flight to London Heathrow operated by Qatar Airways during a press conference in the Qatari capital

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum said: "The production of GTL Jet Fuel is a great achievement for Pearl GTL and the State of Qatar. GTL Jet Fuel will be supplied into the wider jet fuel pool at Doha International Airport enabling the State of Qatar to enjoy the benefits of this product. It is indeed an historic moment for Qatar that the first aviation fuel to be approved globally in the last 20 years originates in Qatar”.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways has long had the foresight to be a leader in the field of environmental stewardship in the aviation sector. This historic Gas-To-Liquids operated flight paves the way for Qatar Airways to contribute to environmental effectiveness when it comes to the day-to-day operations of our business."

“As the world talks and preaches environmentally friendly skies, we at Qatar Airways are setting the bar high for others to follow. We are shifting the goalposts. We are setting an example by doing our part, by committing ourselves to be at the forefront of innovative research,” said Al Baker.

Local and international media interview Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker ahead of the departure of the airline’s first Gas-to-Liquids commercial flight from Doha to London Heathrow

Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Company: “The production and sale of GTL Jet Fuel is an important milestone for the QP-Shell partnership and testimony to our continued support for Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. Developing petroleum products in Qatar for use in Qatar clearly aligns with the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to use the country’s resources to drive growth. The operation of Pearl GTL and enabling Qatar Airways to be the first carrier to fly commercially on GTL Jet Fuel is a clear realisation of this vision. This fuel can be safely used for commercial aviation across all legacy aircraft in use across the world as well as the latest models of airframes and engines on the drawing boards today and notably those in Qatar Airways’ fast expanding fleet.”

Tasweeq, the marketing agent for Qatar Petroleum, for local sales of petroleum products has been instrumental in provisioning the local supply of the GTL fuel in Qatar, and specifically for Qatar Airways’ first flight from Doha. 

VIPs join Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker (fifth left) at the history-making send off of flight QR001, an Airbus A340-600 aircraft, to London Heathrow that used revolutionary new GTL fuel for the first time from Qatar

Saad Al Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer of Taweeq said: “As Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways is today making its mark in the aviation industry and we are proud to have supported this important initiative, providing marketing intelligence, local aviation fuel supply and logistics support as a designated marketer for Qatar Petroleum. We look forward to expanding the scope of this GTL fuel to deliver Qatar’s energy for all airlines flying to Doha.”

This product launch also marks the attainment of the highest stage of the so-called Fuel Readiness Level scale in the rigorous certification and qualification process of Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene blends with conventional Jet A-1 and creates a true ‘Drop In’ alternative fuel meeting the latest DEF STAN and ASTM international aviation standards.

As an alternative to conventional crude oil-derived jet fuel, GTL Jet Fuel can help diversify the aviation fuel supply chain and offers a number of attractive benefits for airlines and airports. The synthetic blend component - GTL kerosene – contains virtually zero Sulphur and has been shown to produce lower particulate emissions (very fine soot particles) than conventional crude oil-derived jet fuel. This means that once blended with conventional jet fuel to create GTL Jet Fuel, it can be attractive to airlines and airport authorities keen to improve local air quality at busy airports by reducing local emissions. GTL kerosene also has a higher energy density than conventional oil-based kerosene. This has the potential to reduce the engine maintenance requirements and the required fuel payload and aircraft may be able to better optimise the weight of fuel to cover the same distance.

A Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600 is fuelled with Gas-to-Liquids jet fuel ahead of the departure of flight QR001 from Doha to London Heathrow

GTL Jet Fuel from Pearl GTL plant is marketed by “Tasweeq” for use solely within Qatar. The first production cargo of GTL Jet Fuel left the Pearl GTL Plant on 17 December 2012 and will be first used in this inaugural flight departing Doha International Airport later today. 

Qatar Airways flies 3 times weekly to Belgrade, Serbia starting 20th November