Qantas to operate Australia's first commercial biofuel flights

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Qantas will operate Australia's first commercial flights powered by biofuel in April 2012 using an Airbus A330 aircraft on the Sydney-Adelaide route.

The return service will use a fuel mixture derived from 50% used cooking oil and 50% conventional jet fuel, Qantas said in a statement.

The mixture is produced by SkyNRG and has been certified for use by the World Wildlife Fund, says Qantas. The services, QF1121 on the Sydney-Adelaide leg and QF1120 on the return leg, will operate on 13 April.

"With high fuel costs and carbon pricing affecting airlines around the world, the Qantas Group is taking the lead in advocating the development of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia," says the Oneworld carrier.

The carrier's head of environment, John Valastro, says the goal of the flights is to raise awareness about sustainable aviation fuel in Australia.

"We know that sustainable aviation fuel can be used in commercial aviation just like conventional jet fuel," he says.

"But until it is produced at a commercial scale, at a competitive price, the industry will not be able to realise its true benefits. No single player can make this happen: it needs support from government, private sector investment, access to infrastructure and market demand."