Etihad Airways conducts eco-friendly flight tests aimed at reducing carbon emissions

Airline manages to remove 40 minutes out of flight times and cut back CO2 content by around six tonnes during demonstration



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By Wam

Published: Fri 6 May 2022, 4:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 6 May 2022, 4:52 PM

Etihad Airways has successfully performed the world’s most intensive sustainable flight testing programme, operating 42 flights over a five-day period to test operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that will reduce carbon emissions.

The programme, coinciding with Earth Day 2022, included 22 contrail prevention flights over the course of three days.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, "We believe this is the most intensive sustainability flight testing programme ever conducted, the results of which will contribute to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions and environmental impact as the learnings are implemented into standard airline operations across the industry."

"Some of the technologies and operational efficiencies we have tested can be implemented today and we’re well in the process of putting these innovations into standard operational procedures, which we hope to see replicated across the industry, while some technologies are still in their infancy and we’ll continue to work with our partners to test and develop these for future use. However, there are a number of impactful solutions which are ready to go, but require an industry and regulatory response to become practical, that the industry needs to raise to the challenge for," he said.

"This challenge needs policy changes from governments, continued R&D, supply chain enhancements and refining improvements. The other big area, which has a simple solution but requires fundamental restructure to the way things currently work, is for the industry, traffic controllers and regulators to modernise flight paths for controlled climbs and continuous descent. In our demonstration EcoFlights we've been able to take at least 40 minutes out of flight times and reduce the CO2 content by around six tonnes, which is incredible," he added.

"Operating EcoFlights on the A350-1000 is a big step forward as an example of the world’s two largest aircraft manufactures working in tandem for the mutual objective of aviation decarbonisation through Etihad’s comprehensive Sustainable50 and Greenliner sustainability programme," Douglas concluded.

The airline's newest aircraft and sustainability beacon alongside its established Greenliner programme, the Sustainable50 A350-1000, officially became the first A350 to operate as an EcoFlight.


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