Etihad to operate EY20 sustainable flight on October 23

"Greenliner"

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is inviting travelers to book its EY20 Sustainable Flight departing October 23 from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, to celebrate the latest anniversary of the Etihad Greenliner Program.

The Etihad Greenliner Program – now two years old following its inception in 2019 – uses Etihad’s Boeing 787 fleet as a test bed for sustainability improvements in partnership with organizations across the aviation industry. Back in October 2019, Etihad and Boeing signed a landmark agreement, pledging to work collaboratively on sustainable aviation solutions in both the R&D domain and regular commercial flights. Since 2019 the two companies have collaborated on areas including inflight product, airspace management, flight deck tools, sustainable fuel, and even brought in expertise from NASA to look at noise levels created by aircraft as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program.

With two years of ecoFlights trialling select improvements in sustainability completed as part of the Greenliner Program, Etihad is operating this special celebratory flight to bring together the best of the past two years into a single flight. October’s flight from Heathrow will be operated with Etihad’s signature Greenliner aircraft, with a livery specifically created to recognize the Greenliner Program and its call to action for the aviation industry.

Based on pre-flight estimations the flight will emit 72% less CO2e in total, and 56% less CO2e per unit of payload than the equivalent flight operated in 2019, thanks to a suite of interventions that will be implemented before, during and even after the flight.

Prior to the flight:

  • The aircraft will be washed to ensure optimal aerodynamics and efficiency, including a dedicated foam washing process for the engines, developed in partnership with General Electric, manufacturer of the 787’s fuel efficient GEnX engines

  • Cutting edge software in development by partner SATAVIA will model contrail formation for the flight, which will be used to optimize routing. By minimizing contrails, the flight will reduce its indirect impact on the environment through the reduction of contrails that contribute to global warming

  • Effects from contrails will be considered alongside other factors that directly contribute to fuel burn such as wind speed, temperature, air pressure and cloud cover

  • Collectively, the pre-flight planning will ensure the most efficient route possible for the conditions present on the day is loaded into the flight computer – all before the aircraft leaves the ground

  • Guests checking in at the airport will receive incentives for flying without check-in bags, or with lightweight luggage – encouraging Guests to consider the environment when deciding what to take on their journey and rewarding those who chose to travel light.

Once in flight:

  • The aircraft will consume a 38% blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), ensuring a significant quantity of the fuel consumed is sourced from sustainable sources, reducing overall emissions

  • Inflight tools such as Boeing’s FlightDeck Advisor and engagement with ANSPs will aid the pilots in achieving the most efficient climb profile out of Heathrow, course while enroute, and descent profile into Abu Dhabi

  • Consumables, such as potable water, will be loaded based on expected consumption to reduce the total weight of the aircraft and save fuel

  • When landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport the aircraft will taxi to the stand using only a single engine, again reducing fuel burn

  • Once at the gate, the aircraft will be serviced by Etihad’s new fleet of electric vehicles for ground logistics such as baggage unloading

On board:

  • Guests will select locally-sourced dining options and be provided with lightweight stainless-steel cutlery from Sola Cutlery, along with a range of carefully selected products from crockery to inflight meal trays to dental kits – all specially sourced for the flight

  • All products onboard have been selected to ensure the highest standards of sustainability using perspectives on sourcing, weight, and a key focus on the full product lifecycle (including end-of-life recycling) through a partnership with service ware design company, deSter.

  • The food served onboard will include vegan options and not use unsustainable products such as beef and palm oil, giving guests the opportunity to eat sustainably

  • Guests will receive personal water bottles, minimizing single-use paper cups and waste during the flight

  • All waste will be segregated to ensure the highest possible levels of recycling in Abu Dhabi

  • The flight will be crewed by a dedicated group of Etihad Green Ambassadors who will offer feedback to the Etihad service delivery teams to continue the evolution of Etihad’s product. While on board, they will be available to Guests who wish to know more about the EY20 Sustainable Flight and the airline’s sustainability initiatives.

Post flight:

  • The data gathered from the aircraft’s sensors will be added to Etihad’s growing database on flight performance, analyzed using tools from Greenliner partner, GE Digital.

  • This analysis monitors flight performance and allows engineers and pilots to quickly recognize patterns of unsustainable activities, and to take remedial actions as needed.

On top of the improvements pre-, during and post-flight, for each guest on board Etihad will plant a tree in Abu Dhabi’s mangrove plantations to contribute to offsetting future flying. The Etihad Mangrove initiative follows the introduction of offsets purchasable by Guests through CarbonClick and the complete offset of the signature Greenliner aircraft’s operations for the entirety of 2021. These offsets have been sourced from the Makame Savannah REDD Project – developed by Carbon Tanzania and include c.80,000 tCO2e offsets, equivalent to the CO2 consumed by 100,000 trees in a year.

Top Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner A6-BMH (msn 60765) (Greenliner) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 952960.

Etihad aircraft slide show:

1 thought on “Etihad to operate EY20 sustainable flight on October 23

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