KUCHING (May 22): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg today made history when he boarded a Latvian airBaltic Airbus A220-300 – the first aircraft to be fuelled up with Sarawak-made algae sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The plane transited at the Kuching International Airport from Bangkok and is Langkawi-bound as Abang Johari sets off to attend the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2023).
The aircraft departed the Kuching International Airport at 2pm and the flight to Langkawi took two hours.
With him on board, Abang Johari fulfilled his promise to be one of the first passengers to travel in a plane using Sarawak’s algae SAF.
Accompanying him on the flight were State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, his deputy Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) general manager Datu Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia Sarawak regional director Petrus Coupon Lim, MIGHT joint chairman Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, MIGHT president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman and Airbus/Amic unit head and chief executive officer Kan Ern Liew and SEDC Energy chief executive officer Robert Hardin.
When contacted by The Borneo Post, Robert explained that Airbus Corporation had recommended the airBaltic plane for the launch here today, as Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia do not have this particular model.
“The aircraft was provided by Airbus because none of them (Malaysian airline companies) have this particular model. This is the first time that an Airbus A220 has touched down in Southeast Asia – that is why we collaborated with Airbus for the SAF,” he said.
Last week, Abang Johari said the flight would utilise a small amount of the SAF and should this test prove successful, it will lay the path for other areas in the state to venture into SAF production.