Etihad Airways and World Energy collaborate to demonstrate the future of Net Zero aviation with zero emissions flight to COP27

Etihad Airways made this announcement:

  • Scheduled Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi service to fly via Sharm-El-Sheik delivering COP27 delegates with zero net emissions
  • Operated on Etihad’s Boeing 787 “Greenliner” the flight will leverage SAF Book & Claim systems in partnership with World Energy to overcome SAF logistical and infrastructure challenges
  • The special operation demonstrates that Book & Claim is crucial to achieving net-zero commercial aviation until SAF becomes more globally available

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has partnered with World Energy, a carbon-net-zero solutions provider, to operate the first NetZero flight powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Book & Claim, delivering delegates to COP27 with zero net emissions.

The airline will operate its Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi service, routed via COP27 venue Sharm-El-Sheik to demonstrate the only feasible path to net-zero commercial aviation using current technology, while showcasing the challenges and opportunities of SAF.

Enabling delegates to travel 10,000km emission-free to COP27, Etihad will buy (or book) SAF for the flight provided by fueling partner World Energy. However, the flight will use conventional Jet-A1 fuel, and the physical SAF that Etihad has purchased will be delivered into the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) fuel system and used on flights by other airlines out of that airport. LAX has the infrastructure in place to take delivery of and distribute World Energy’s SAF. This is known as a Book & Claim system and is the preferred model for SAF use and distribution advocated for by the aviation and energy industries as a stopgap solution to make SAF available for global aviation until infrastructure and production capacity can catch up. Book & Claim includes scrupulously third-party verified transactions that comply with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) guidance

Guests onboard the flight will not be charged any extra premium for their fare but preparing a NetZero flight without charging each passenger and cargo shipment a surcharge is a challenge given that the cost to produce SAF is four-times higher than JetA1.

The extra costs will be mitigated by several sources, including government subsidies reducing the SAF cost by 50 per cent, the Corporate Conscious Choice program contributing 28 per cent, and the Etihad Guest Raffle providing 22 per cent. A final 10 per cent to partially offset additional operational and handling costs will be generated by tokenizing and trading CO2e avoidance credits, possible due to this being the first transatlantic flight actively managing non-CO2 effects through contrail avoidance prediction and flight planning.

The NetZero flight will be the latest in a series of “EcoFlight” tests since Etihad launched its Greenliner programme in 2020, each one testing and proving a series of concepts.

Top Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A6-BLV (msn 39676) (Formula 1 – 2022 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 957882.

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