Company Watch - Qatar Airways.
A350 XWB launch customer Qatar Airways has declared itself pleased with Airbus's rethink on the -800 variant, which is now based directly on the -900 to offer greater commonality and more range. "An A350-800 with longer range has more appeal as it differentiates it from the 787-8 and allows operation of long, thin routes," says the airline. It adds that it also likes the fact that it now has "a high degree of commonality with the A350-900". The rethink was agreed last year in conjunction with the customers, ahead of the second A350 variant reaching its design freeze milestone in December, says the programme's marketing chief Sophie Pendaries. "The planned optimisation of the -800's design - slight changes to the structure and landing gear, tyre and brake changes - was not bringing the expected benefits," she says. Jan 15, 2010
Qatar Airways, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Qatar Petroleum announced establishment of the Qatar Advanced Biofuel Platform, which, with the support of Airbus, will carry out engineering and economic analysis into the development of a sustainable biofuel and "will also look into ways for production and supply," Qatar Airways said. QABP will focus on creating a detailed engineering/implementation plan for sustainable production, a biofuel investments strategy, an advanced technology development program and market and strategic analyses. Qatar Airways said it will be a "dedicated end-user" and that specific feedstocks have been identified "which could be developed and processed with the aim of providing access to [biomass-to-liquid] jet fuel for use by Qatar Airways." The airline operated the first gas-to-liquid fuel blend-powered commercial flight with an A340-600 in October and conducted a feasibility study on sustainable BTL jet fuel with QSTP and US-based Verno Systems. The consortium announced its intent to explore the feasibility of GTL fuel at the 2007 Dubai Air Show. It said that while it is moving to the "next phase" of alternative fuels, it will continue "to develop GTL further." Jan 12, 2010
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