Qantas launches Australia’s first biofuel flight

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Published: April 16, 2012

Qantas A330. By Rob Finlayson

Qantas (QF) launched Australia’s first commercial biofuel flight Friday on an Airbus A330 flight from Sydney to Adelaide using a 50:50 blend of biofuel derived from used cooking oil and conventional jet fuel ( ATW Daily News, April 2 ).

Just ahead of the flight, QF announced it will conduct a feasibility study into the potential for an Australian sustainable aviation fuel industry. The Australian government will fund the study, which will begin in May. Shell will provide technical support, QF said.

“Today is a historic occasion in Australian aviation,” QF CEO Alan Joyce said. “We are delighted to be operating Australia’s first sustainable aviation fuel flights and to be launching a study into the feasibility of producing such fuel in this country.”

Joyce said Australia has the resources and infrastructure to “take a lead in this emerging sector, which it has been estimated could generate up to 12,000 jobs over the next 20 years.”

The fuel, supplied by SkyNRG, is a 50:50 blend of biofuel and conventional jet fuel certified for use in commercial aviation. Its life cycle carbon footprint is around 60% smaller than that of conventional jet fuel, QF said in a statement.

QF said its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar will use the same fuel type on a return flight from Melbourne to Hobart April 19.

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