Abu Dhabi welcomes new flagship of the Etihad Greenliner Programme

Staff Report/Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 25, 2020

The aircraft is the 38th Dreamliner in Etihad's next-generation, fuel-efficient fleet.

Sustainable aviation fuel comprised approximately 30% of the total blend on the flight, one of the largest volumes used on a Boeing 787 delivery flight

Boeing engineers used the flight to assess efficiency initiatives, which could further reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the 787 Dreamliner family

Etihad Airways' newest aircraft, a specially themed Boeing 787 Dreamliner, touched down in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, after a delivery flight from Boeing's assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The aircraft, embellished with a striking faceted colour scheme, is the flagship of the Etihad Greenliner Programme. This is a unique collaboration between the UAE's national airline and Boeing, which along with other industry partners, including the engine manufacturer GE Aviation, will use Etihad's entire 787 fleet to assess measures that boost aircraft efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Registered A6-BMH, the aircraft is the 38th Dreamliner in Etihad's next-generation, fuel-efficient fleet, and will enter commercial service next week.

Upon its arrival, the aircraft was met by Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and chairman of the Aviation Sector Development Committee in Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company; Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport; Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; Dr Ahmed Al Shoaibi, SVP for Academic and Student Services, Khalifa University; Ahsen Rajput, director International Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; and Ram Mulik, regional general manager, Middle East and Africa, GE Aviation.

"Abu Dhabi is making productive efforts towards consolidating a diversified and sustainable economy by creating effective environmental solutions that enhance the sustainable growth," said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

He added that the aviation sector is one of the main sectors supporting the economic diversification policies pursued by the government, and that Etihad Airways has become one of the most prominent national companies and is a central link between East and West.

Sustainable aviation fuel comprised approximately 30 per cent of the total blend on the flight, one of the largest volumes used on a Boeing 787 delivery flight. In previous tests this mix, refined from agricultural waste, has emitted approximately 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than standard jet fuel, over its total life cycle.

Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said: "We have an immense responsibility as a leader in the aviation community, to reducing carbon emissions and creating cleaner and more sustainable transportation for generations to come. Etihad has been at the forefront of research into sustainable aviation fuels and together with partners such as Boeing, and those closer to home in Abu Dhabi, we continue to work tirelessly to yield tangible and cost-effective results in this field."

"This research will be perfectly showcased by the Etihad Greenliner Programme, symbolising our group's commitment, not only as one of the world's largest operators of this fuel-efficient aircraft, but to a sustainable future for Abu Dhabi, for our industry, and for our customers. The Boeing 787 is the backbone of our airline's fleet, and this programme is a key element of the company's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and throughout our global network. We have publicly set the target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050, and a halving of our 2019 net emission levels by 2035," he said.

Boeing engineers also used the flight to assess three efficiency initiatives, which could further reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the 787 Dreamliner family, which is already 20 to 25 per cent more efficient than similar-size aircraft they replace. The first en-route research initiative, FliteDeck Advisor, is an application developed by Boeing to use data from the aircraft to determine flight efficiency at various stages of the journey. This data provides pilots with real-time information to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The second initiative, Nautical Air Mileage Evaluation, assesses fuel mileage and consumption based on the aircraft's performance parameters and fuel flow at any given time. This was the first test of this initiative on a 787 using sustainable aviation fuels.

The third assessment on the flight was a continuous descent into Abu Dhabi airport, in which the aircraft followed a consistent curved path rather than a standard multi-step approach. This approach reduces fuel use, aircraft noise and CO2 emissions, and is a measure the airline is keen to introduce regularly when conditions allow.

Stanley Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: "Boeing and Etihad Airways recognise climate change is a fundamental challenge of our time, and we're united in doing our part to reduce greenhouse gases - in the air and on the ground. While the aviation industry has made substantial progress, we'll continue our longstanding efforts to reduce emissions in collaboration with our customers and partners across the industry."

- rohma@khaleejtimes.com

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