Sebuah pesawat yang menggunakan diimport memasak Amerika menggunakan minyak telah meninggalkan Sydney dalam penerbangan percubaan di seluruh Australia pada pagi Jumaat.
SYDNEY, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A plane using imported American used cooking oil has left Sydney on a trial flight across Australia on Friday morning.
With a degree of fanfare and more than a whiff of publicity, Australia's national carrier Qantas launched its first commercial flight with a tank half full of bio-fuel and a remaining mix of standard jet fuel.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce led a media contingent in farewelling the Qantas Airbus A330 on its maiden cooking oil voyage to Adelaide, in Australia's south, a journey covering several thousands of kilometres.
Joyce said the same fuel has been used in a six-month, 1,200 flight trial in Germany between Hamburg and Frankfurt.
Joyce told reporters, "This is significant.. it's the first commercial flight to be powered by sustainable aviation fuel in Australia and that's a big step for this country."
Qantas says the flight will produce less carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel.
"We're talking about a 60 percent reduction in the overall life cycle of the fuel, so that's a substantial improvement," he said.
However, the cooking oil cocktail costs four times as much as standard jet fuel, but Qantas says it's the flavour of future air travel.
The timing of the bio-fuel launch coincides with the 5th April domestic Qantas 5 percent fares increase, placing high fuel costs in the minds of the consumer.
Qantas is running the line that it will assume the extra cost of what will only be a one-off flight as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the value of bio-fuel as an energy option.
The fact remains airlines are feeling the pinch of rising fuel costs and passengers will be the ones holding the can. Qantas last month announced further increases to international fuel surcharges and domestic fares in response to high global jet fuel prices.
Qantas said in a statement last week, "While fuel surcharges, price increases and hedging are being used to mitigate the impact of fuel prices, they will not fully recover the cost impact."
Standard jet fuel is Qantas' largest operational cost and market prices remain consistently high. Average fuel prices are at their highest level since 2007.
At the end of March 2012, Singapore Jet Fuel was trading at a price of 136.95 U.S. dollars per barrel.