Qantas goes green

THE red kangaroo is flying green. It has announced a feasibility study to commence in May into the potential for an Australian sustainable aviation fuel industry, backed by funding from the Australian government.

This was heralded by the airline operating Australia’s first commercial flight powered by biofuel on April 13. The flight operated from Sydney to Adelaide and back. To show the Qantas group’s commitment to using sustainable aviation fuel, two Jetstar flights also flew, powered by the same fuel, from Melbourne to Hobart and back on April 19.

The biofuel is a 50:50 blend of biofuel – derived from recycled cooking oil – and conventional jet fuel certified for use in commercial aviation. Its ‘life cycle’ carbon footprint is said to be around 60 per cent smaller than that of conventional jet fuel.

Recognizing the global call to reduce carbon emissions and the pressure on airlines to meet carbon emissions standards or pay a penalty for non-compliance – beginning with the European Union’s carbon emissions trading scheme, and a similar scheme soon to be introduced in Australia – Qantas chief executive said: “Alternatives to conventional jet fuel are vital to the Qantas aviation industry meeting ambitious targets for carbon-neutral growth and emissions reduction.” The Qantas study would tell how that could be achieved in Australia.

It is not really a matter of choice. Qantas makes an early move, and shows that action speaks louder than words.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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