London, UNITED KINGDOM – Qatar Airways has been honoured by leading aviation industry figures for its wide-ranging global environmental initiatives.
The Doha-based carrier’s well documented move into the research of alternative jet fuel as part of an overall mission to secure a cleaner and environmentally friendly future, helped win it the Environment accolade at the annual Airline Strategy Awards held in London.
The airline earned recognition among an illustrious judging panel made up of chief executives, aviation consultants, leading analysts and academics drawn from across the industry.
Now in their ninth year, the awards which are run by the leading monthly aviation magazine Airline Business, have established themselves as the sector’s benchmark recognising boardroom leadership and strategic vision.
Success criteria for the award included demonstrating the creation and implementation of a company-wide environmental strategy; the creation, development and implementation of measures that produce environmental benefits; and the support of industry-wide initiatives through research.
The airline was acknowledged for its leadership in pioneering the use of alternative jet fuel having operated the world’s first commercial passenger flight powered by a fuel made from natural gas. The flight from London Gatwick to Doha in October 2009 made headlines around the world.
Otherwise known as gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel, the milestone flight was also seen as the first step in helping make the alternative synthetic fuel available to all airlines in the future.
Over the past two years, Qatar Airways has been instrumental in driving a number of environmentally-friendly projects designed to find ways to maximise fuel saving efficiency and explore the use of cleaner jet fuels.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a great honour for the airline to be recognised with this prestigious award and it only demonstrates the commitment that we at Qatar Airways have towards a cleaner and environmentally-friendly crowded skies.”
“At Qatar Airways, we don’t just talk, but take positive action to produce results and these measures we have and will be adopting, will only help airlines around the world to fly the global skies with a cleaner and friendly environment at the forefront of their growth strategies.”
The airline has implemented a company-wide five-pillar corporate social responsibility strategy that embraces change management and integrated fuel management for sustainable development.
Just months later, Qatar Airways joined forces with industry partners to establish the Qatar Advanced Biofuels Platform to research and develop the feedstock and capability to produce biomass-to-liquid fuel – otherwise known as BTL jet fuel.
With an ultimate aim to use a blend of GTL and biomass-to-liquid (BTL) jet fuel, this would help the airline be independent of conventional aviation jet fuel in the future.
“In a remarkably short time, Qatar Airways has gone from a relative laggard on the environment front to one blazing a trail for others to follow,” said Mark Pilling, Editor of Airline Business.
“With increasing pressure to display its environmental credentials and emissions trading schemes, Qatar Airways’ leadership knew the time had come to significantly boost its activities on the environment front.”
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