Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020 has been marked by Etihad Airways with the operation of a special eco-flight from the capital of the United Arab Emirates to Brussels.
The flight includes a wide array of new initiatives that are intended to show the depth of the commitment of the airline to implementing sustainable practices both on the ground and in the air.
On 13th January at 2.20am, Flight EY 57, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, departed.
The aircraft is the most recent addition to the Etihad fleet, and is also its most efficient, consuming around 15% less fuel than any of its other aircraft types.
An optimised flight route will be followed by the aircraft, having been facilitated by Eurocontrol, the airspace navigation service provider based in Europe, with the intention of cutting down on carbon emissions and fuel consumption.
A number of other initiatives are to be implemented before the flight as well as during and afterwards in order to highlight the number of opportunities there are to cut down on the impact that the airline has on the environment.
Etihad Aviation Group’s group chief executive officer Tony Douglas says that sustainable practice is a vital and ongoing challenge for the whole of the airline industry.
The industry is trying to cut down on waste and carbon emissions even as demand for air travel continues to soar.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has also made such reductions a priority, and Etihad is an important driver of economic and social development in the capital, according to Douglas.
The UAE’s national theme this year is ‘2020: Towards the next 50’, and Etihad has committed itself to continuously work with a number of different partners as part of the large nationwide focus on the sustainability of the environment.
Etihad is continuing to invest in the next generation of more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of its sustainable flying commitment.
The airline is increasing the number of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in its fleet and is about to induct as many as three new types of aircraft in the form of the Boeing 777-9, the narrow-bodied Airbus A321neo and the wide-bodied Airbus 350-1000.
Etihad recently entered into a partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Markets and the First Abu Dhabi Bank in order to be the first airline to have secured commercial funding dependent on complying with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The airline is also exploring a number of other options to find similar funding for other initiatives.
Etihad Airways has also announced its Etihad Greenliner Programme, which will see its whole Boeing 787 fleet used as airborne test beds for an array of new sustainability initiatives by the airline and its partners in the industry.
Boeing, which is the first of these partners, is joining with the airline in a comprehensive research programme that starts next week.
Anyone travelling to the UAE from Brussels or vice versa should take out travel insurance to ensure that they are protected from the financial costs of unplanned events such as lost luggage or cancelled flights.