Tuesday 24 November 2020 - 10:55:56 am

Etihad Airways continuing to promote sustainability, protect environment

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ABU DHABI, 28th September, 2020 (WAM) -- Etihad Airways is continuing its ambitious strategy based on the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, which aims to promote sustainability and protect the environment, in light of Abu Dhabi’s prominent stature in the field of sustainability.

The strategy also aims to accelerate the pace of development, by supporting partnerships, utilising modern technologies and adopting innovation to make travel more secure and sustainable.

Etihad Airways has enlarged the scope of its strategic partnership with Boeing, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, and Safran Aerospace, to promote the concept of sustainability in the aviation sector, especially in the area of aerial transportation, to protect the environment, lessen noise pollution caused by aircraft, and reduce emissions.

In light of the exceptional circumstances witnessed by the entire world, Etihad Airways has shown the significant capacity and flexibility to turn these challenges into opportunities, by launching the programme, entitled, "EcoDemonstrator," in August 2020. It also started testing the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, which features special equipment that reduces emissions and noise.

Under the framework of the programme, which is the outcome of the cooperation and partnership between Etihad Airways, NASA, Boeing and Safran, 1,500 sound sensors were installed on the outer fuselage of the aircraft to provide detailed information while flying around the world. The aircraft is also equipped with special devices on its landing gear to gauge noise levels in different conditions and limit aircraft noise, as well as reduce emissions and improve airspace efficiency.

All EcoDemonstrator flights are fuelled by an equal blend of biofuels and regular fuel, with the former helping to reduce emissions by 80 percent during the fuel life cycle.

The EcoDemonstrater and Greenliner programmes are part of the strategic partnership between Etihad Airways and Boeing.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Chief Operating Officer, said, "Etihad participating in this year’s ecoDemonstrator programme builds on our core innovation and sustainability tenets while supporting the research and development of our partners to bring innovation from the laboratory to a real world testing environment.

"By choosing to take part in this programme we are proud to work with the likes of Boeing, NASA and Safran to test cutting-edge technologies and explore "blue sky" opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, reduce fuel use, lower noise for the community and cut CO2 emissions.

''The 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme on the 787-10 Dreamliner will conduct extensive sound measurements. These will validate community noise prediction processes and the noise reduction potential of a landing gear modified for quieter operations. These technologies will significantly contribute to how the industry lowers noise levels for the community. In addition, a flight will be conducted during which pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operations center will simultaneously share digital information to optimise routing efficiency, reducing fuel and community noise,'' he said.

''Test flights will be flown on a blend of sustainable fuel, which significantly lowers aviation’s environmental footprint. This allows Etihad to continue to learn and evaluate the performance of Sustainable Aviation Fuels on operational flights,'' he explained.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said that achieving overall sustainability, supporting innovation, and employing modern technologies are the key cornerstones and strategies of the UAE, which aims to enhance its competitiveness and become among the best countries in the world, in line with the UAE Centennial 2071.

"Sustainability cannot be achieved by only depending on the government’s efforts. It also requires partnerships between the public and private sectors and even individuals," Al Nuaimi added, highlighting the role of Etihad Airways in creating a comprehensive system to achieve sustainability and protect the environment in all its operations.

Al Nuaimi also pointed out that similar initiatives adopted by companies and Etihad Airways have supported the efforts of the UAE and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to protect the environment.

In his statement to WAM, Mohamed Mubarak bin Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Airways, said, "Abu Dhabi has a leading stature and achieved significant successes in the field of sustainability, and has accomplished many regional and international achievements due to its ambitious strategy and future plans, which are inspired by the directives of the UAE’s leadership and the Abu Dhabi Economic and Environmental Vision."

He also pointed out that Etihad Airways’ programmes highlight the pivotal role of the aviation sector in driving sustainable development and economic diversification, through the adoption of leading innovative solutions in all areas aimed at reducing the use of regular fuels and promoting the use of biofuels.

Al Mazrouei highlighted the fact that the UAE has a strong infrastructure and a series of legislation that support its capacity to handle different challenges and conditions.

Al Bulooki said, "Etihad Airways has adopted an inspiring strategy related to sustainability and environmental protection, which has strengthened its pioneering role in reducing dependency on regular fuel and decreasing emissions"

"Sustainability remains a priority for Etihad in spite of the current Covid19 crisis and this is just one initiative we’ve taken since the start of the pandemic to continue our drive for sustainable aviation. As far as Etihad is concerned, environmental sustainability shouldn’t be an option or fair weather project to be shelved when it’s not convenient against other challenges.

"A recent example of driving sustainability in the face of COVID19 was an ecoFlight we operated to Dublin in March, with an optimised route profile for the entire roundtrip, optimised climb and continuous descent. When compared to a standard Boeing 787 flight on that route, we were able to reduce the journey time by 40 minutes, cut fuel by 800kg and CO2 by three tonnes. In comparison to the same flight on a different aircraft type 12 months prior, this flight cut fuel by eight tonnes and reduced carbon emissions by a staggering 26 tonnes.

"Like the ecoDemonstrator, this initiative really speaks to the importance of industry collaboration and was done working with multiple Air Navigation Service Providers and airport authorities to deliver lower fuel consumption, noise and carbon emissions.

"It’s also worth noting that during the grounding of our scheduled passenger flights, Etihad tested and implemented single-engine taxi-in on our Boeing 787 with the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit turned off for as long as practical, resulting in reduced fuel usage and noise.

"We at Etihad are committed to sustainable development in aviation in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the UAE and we believe addressing aviation’s emissions is a challenge for the industry. As a prime example of industry collaboration towards sustainable aviation and innovation, the ecoDemonstrator programme is a unique opportunity to lead the aviation industry’s drive for a sustainable future," he added.

Etihad Airways also uses a blend of sustainable fuel to operate its pilot test flights, which will reduce its carbon print, Al Bulooki noted, adding that its pilot project is expected to continue at the Boeing establishment in Montana, US, before the aircraft it ordered are delivered by the end of September 2020.

Etihad’s fleet is one of the most advanced in the world, and it continues to invest in the most recent Airbus and Boeing aircraft and end the use of old and less efficient models.

In 2014, Etihad Airways received the first Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which achieved progress in fleet technology in terms of airline operations. The first Dreamliner aircraft was mostly manufactured from lightweight composite materials that require less fuel than previous models.

In line with the carbon reduction plan in the international aviation sector, Etihad Airways has been a key supporter of the use of alternative fuels, which can be produced for commercial use both inside and outside the UAE.

Biofuels are made from plants that grow in the sea. The oil extracted from these plants are used to make biofuels through the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, SBRC, which is a partnership between Etihad Airways, Khalifa University, Boeing, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, General Electric and the Power Resource Group.

In January 2019, Etihad Airways operated the first commercial flight with a 787-9 aircraft from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam using sustainable fuel, which was produced and refined in Abu Dhabi.

In 2012, Etihad Airways operated a flight using biofuel derived from cooking oil, followed by a flight in 2014 using biofuel derived from plants, which was also refined in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways operated eco-flights from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane and another to Brussels, highlighting the carrier’s commitment to implementing sustainable practices on land and in the air to reduce carbon emissions.

In April 2019, Etihad Airways became the first carrier in the Middle East to operate a flight with no disposable plastic materials from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane, Australia.

Before the flight, the Etihad Airways Group used over 100 disposable plastic products on its flights. By the end of 2019, the carrier eliminated 41 products, representing 17 tonnes of disposable plastic materials.

The carrier pledged to eliminate 80 percent of disposable plastic materials on its flights by 2022, compared to April 2019.

In November 2019, Etihad Airways launched a global joint strategy with Boeing to deploy the 797 Dreamliner aircraft, to achieve sustainable aviation.

Through this partnership, Etihad Airways and Boeing are performing tests on innovative technologies aimed at enhancing aviation efficiency, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.

 

WAM/Rasha Abubaker/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR