Tag Archives: Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways accelerates transformation plan to mitigate impact of pandemic

Etihad Airways issued this statement:

Etihad Airways accelerates transformation plan to mitigate impact of pandemic
  • 4.2 million passengers carried in 2020 with seat load factor of 52.9%
  • Network capacity reduced by 64% to 37.5 billion ASKs in wake of pandemic
  • Industry-leading Etihad Wellness program developed to safeguard travelers
  • First airline in the world with 100% of operating flight crew vaccinated

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways has announced its financial and operating results for 2020, recording a 76% fall in passengers carried throughout the year (4.2 million, compared to 17.5 million in 2019) as a result of lower demand and reduced flight capacity caused by the unparalleled global downturn in commercial aviation.

As a consequence of the COVID pandemic and ensuing flight and travel restrictions, total passenger capacity was reduced by 64% in 2020 to 37.5 billion Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), down from 104 billion in 2019, with the seat load factor declining to 52.9%, 25.8 percentage points lower compared to 2019 (2019: 78.7%).

The airline recorded US $1.2 billion passenger revenues in 2020, down by 74% from US $4.8 billion in 2019, due to fewer scheduled services and drastically fewer people traveling. A contributing factor to this was the total suspension of passenger services into and out of the UAE from end of March until early June 2020 to limit the spread of COVID, in line with a UAE government mandate. More than 80% of total passengers carried in 2020 were flown during the first three months of the year, demonstrating the precipitous drop in demand as the global crisis deepened over the course of the year.

The airline’s cargo operation, on the contrary, recorded an extremely strong performance, with a 66% increase in revenue from US $0.7 billion in 2019 to US $1.2 billion in 2020, driven by huge demand for medical supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pharmaceuticals, paired with limited global airfreight capacity. Cargo yield saw an improvement of 77%.

Operating costs meanwhile decreased by 39% year-on-year, from US $5.4 billion in 2019 to US $3.3 billion in 2020, due to a combination of reduced capacity and volume-related expenses, as well as a focus on cost containment initiatives. Overheads reduced by 25% to US $0.8 billion (2019: US $1.0 billion) in this timeframe, despite their fixed nature, owing to cash and liquidity management initiatives during the crisis, while the finance cost reduced by 23% through an ongoing focus on balance sheet restructuring.

Overall, this resulted in a core operating loss of US $1.70 billion (2019: US $0.80 billion) in 2020, with the EBITDA turning to negative US $0.65 billion (2019: positive US $0.45 billion).

Prior to the pandemic, Etihad was ahead of transformation targets set in 2017, having registered a 55% cumulative improvement in core results by end-of-year 2019. This momentum continued into the start of 2020, with a record first quarter (Q1) that showed year-on-year improvement of 34%. The airline is continuing to target a complete turnaround by 2023, having accelerated its transformation plans and restructured the organization during the pandemic into a leaner and more agile business.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “COVID shook the very foundation of the aviation industry, but thanks to our dedicated people and the support of our shareholder, Etihad stood firm and is ready to play a key role as the world returns to flying. While nobody could have predicted how 2020 would unfold, our focus on optimizing core business fundamentals over the past three years put Etihad in good stead to respond decisively to the global crisis. We have taken bold action to protect our people and our guests, develop an industry-leading health and hygiene program, and restructure our business to better position us for recovery. As the world’s first airline to vaccinate all our operating pilots and cabin crew against COVID, we are ready to welcome back travelers to experience best-in-class travel with Etihad Airways.”

Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer, said: “We started the year on a firm footing by surpassing our transformation targets for Q1 and were looking forward to a strong performance for the year ahead – and then the pandemic took hold. As passenger revenues nosedived, we took immediate action to secure Etihad’s long-term financial health, with a wide range of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid on our business. Despite significant pressures on our cashflow, we maintained liquidity by focusing on cost control, maximising cargo revenue, enhancing our charter capabilities and raising innovative credit facilities such as the world’s-first sustainability-linked transition sukuk. This was supported by Etihad retaining an A with a ‘stable outlook’ credit rating by Fitch, making it one of a handful of airlines to maintain a pre-Covid rating.”

Summary of 2020 results:

2020 2019
Passenger revenue (US$ billion) 1.2 4.8
Cargo revenue (US$ billion) 1.2 0.70
Operating revenue (US$ billion) 2.7 5.6
EBITDA (US$ billion) (0.65) 0.45
Core operating result (US$ billion) (1.7) (0.8)
Total passengers (million) 4.2 17.5
Available seat kilometres (billion) 37.5 104.0
Seat load factor (%) 52.9 78.7
Number of aircraft 103 101
Cargo tonnage (leg tonnes ‘000) 575.7 635.0

 

 

Highlights of 2020

Putting health and wellbeing first

In 2020, Etihad established Etihad Wellness, an industry-leading program to ensure wellbeing at every stage of the customer journey and provide greater peace of mind when traveling.

  • A key service differentiator for the airline, Etihad Wellness is championed by specially-trained Wellness Ambassadors who are available 24/7 to provide essential travel health information and care pre-flight through a webchat on etihad.com, at the airport, and on board.
  • Etihad Wellness maintains the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene at every customer touchpoint, with aircraft deep cleaning and sanitization after every flight and complimentary wellness kits for every guest, among many other measures.
  • To reinforce the effectiveness of Etihad Wellness, the airline is providing global COVID insurance with every ticket, so passengers are covered when they are away from home.
  • As a further commitment to safety, Etihad is the only airline in the world to require 100% of passengers to show a negative PCR test result before departure and on arrival in Abu Dhabi. This safety measure was introduced in August 2020.

"Greenliner"

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

Leading the way for sustainability

In 2020, despite the challenges of COVID, Etihad continued to pave the way for more environmentally friendly travel by implementing key sustainability initiatives.

  • In January 2020, the airline welcomed a unique, green-themed Boeing 787 into the fleet as the flagship aircraft of its Greenliner program. As part of a partnership with Boeing, the aircraft serves as a flying testbed for sustainable practices such as highly optimized route profiles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Under the Greenliner program, Etihad partnered with industry leaders Boeing, NASA and Safran on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator program. This saw an Etihad Boeing 787 aircraft test initiatives to enhance safety and reduce CO2 emissions and noise, including two innovative wellness technologies to combat COVID – a handheld ultraviolet light disinfecting system and an antimicrobial coating to prevent growth of bacteria on tray tables, armrests and other surfaces.
  • In January 2020, Etihad announced an ambitious target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050, with an additional goal of halving 2019 net emission levels by 2035. The company’s environmental targets will be achieved through a combination of internal initiatives and collaboration with industry partners to harness technology and innovation for operational efficiencies and the development of sustainable aviation fuels, supported by carbon offsetting.
  • In a global first for sustainable financing, Etihad became the first airline in the world to issue a sustainability-linked transition sukuk in October 2020, raising US$ 600 million. The deal is linked to Etihad’s carbon reduction targets, with the funds going towards investments in more energy-efficient aircraft and research and development into sustainable aviation fuel.
  • In another first, Etihad announced the launch of the Middle East’s first aircraft carbon offset program in December 2020 by committing to purchase carbon offsets to completely neutralize CO2 emissions of its flagship Greenliner aircraft for a full year of operations in 2021. The carbon credits are linked to Tanzanian forestry project Makame Savannah.

Mr Douglas added: “While dealing with the reality of the pandemic, Etihad has continued to lead the field in the development of more sustainable flying. Despite the present challenges, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. The future of flying has to be sustainable for our planet and we need to take responsible climate action today to meet our obligations for the future.”

Taking care of the Etihad family

The airline continued to do everything possible to support employees while having to restructure its business to cope with the pandemic.

  • In September 2020, Etihad was able to offer early enrollment to frontline staff, including pilots and cabin crew, into the UAE’s national vaccination program. Etihad’s percentage of vaccinated staff has continued to grow through an internal drive to increase awareness and understanding of the vaccine.
  • The airline was one of the first companies in the UAE to offer staff the option of receiving the vaccination in the workplace after its aeromedical centre became an approved vaccination clinic.
  • More than 75% of the airline’s total UAE-based workforce has now received the vaccine, with Etihad becoming the first airline in the world to have 100% of its operating flight crew vaccinated. This milestone was reached in February 2021.
  • Due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic and curtailed capacity, the airline was forced to rationalize its manpower and make redundancies across several areas of the business.
  • The airline’s total workforce stood at 13,587 employees by the end of 2020, down by 33% from 20,369 the year before. In order to minimize job losses as much as possible, the airline introduced temporary company-wide salary reductions ranging from 25% for non-managerial roles to 50% for management and executives.

A modern fleet built around the Dreamliner

Etihad took delivery of two new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2020, bringing the total fleet count to 103 aircraft, with an average age of only 6.2 years. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner continues to be the backbone of the Etihad global fleet – one of the youngest and most efficient in the world.

  • With 39 Dreamliners in total, Etihad is one of the world’s largest operators of this highly efficient aircraft type.
  • The airline’s operations in 2020 have focused on B787-9 and B787-10 flying due to the aircraft’s range, efficiency and belly-hold cargo payload capability, while part of the remaining fleet has been parked due to reduced passenger operations.

Connecting travelers through Abu Dhabi

Etihad is continuing to gradually resume services and grow its global network as international borders reopen, in line with entry and health regulations set by UAE authorities and those at the end destination.

  • For the majority of 2020, point-to-point travel to and from Abu Dhabi was restricted to citizens and residents, but as a result of the UAE’s rigorous testing and safety precautions, Abu Dhabi reopened to tourists from a permitted ‘green list’ of countries on 24 December 2020.
  • At the end of 2020, the airline operated to 50 passenger and seven cargo destinations from Abu Dhabi, representing approximately 35% of its pre-COVID capacity.
  • June 2020 saw Air Arabia Abu Dhabi start operations as the first low cost carrier (LCC) based out of Abu Dhabi. A joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia, the carrier closed the year serving eight markets, increasing Abu Dhabi’s air connectivity, diversifying the travel offering to and from the UAE capital, and complementing the Etihad passenger network.
  • Following the historic normalization of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel in 2020, Etihad announced daily year-round scheduled services set to commence between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi in March 2021.

Supporting the world through COVID-19

At the onset of the pandemic, Etihad began operating special humanitarian charters to bring much-needed medical supplies and equipment including respirators, PPE, and more recently vaccines to impacted countries.

  • The airline operated 183 such charters, ferrying more than 2,500 tonnes of essential cargo to 129 countries, with destinations including Asunción (Paraguay), Havana (Cuba), St. Kitts and Nevis (Caribbean Islands) and Lima (Peru) to name just a few.
  • In November 2020, Etihad joined the Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led coalition formed to facilitate the distribution of COVID vaccines across the world, with a complete end-to-end supply chain solution covering demand planning, sourcing and world-class facilities for transporting temperature sensitive cargo at ultra-cold conditions up to -80⁰.
  • The vaccines are being distributed by Etihad, the first carrier in the Middle East to receive IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics. By year-end 2020, Etihad had transported more than five million vaccine doses as part of the consortium.

Picking up industry awards:

Etihad continued to gain recognition for its leading product and service proposition throughout the year.

  • In recognition of the airline’s focus on customer wellbeing, Etihad was officially rated a Five-Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in December 2020 and awarded the Diamond status by APEX for Health Safety in January 2021.
  • Etihad received two accolades at Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2020, including ‘Best Economy Class’ for enhancing its Economy travel experience to provide greater control, choice and personalization, and ‘Best Frequent Flyer Program’ for its Etihad Guest loyalty program, which was transformed to provide greater member benefits.
  • Etihad was presented with three awards at Aviation Business Awards 2020; ‘Environmental Initiative of the Year’, for Etihad’s industry-leading commitment to driving the sustainability agenda, ‘Training Provider of the Year’ for Etihad Aviation Training and Pride of Aviation’ for demonstrating outstanding steadfastness in the face of an unprecedented industry crisis.
  • Etihad Cargo was named Best Cargo Airline – Middle East by leading airfreight industry magazine, Air Cargo Week, for the major role it played in keeping key trade lanes connected and delivering aid around the world in 2020.

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

Etihad inaugurates 2020 ecoDemonstrator

Etihad Airways made this announcement:

Following the launch of the Etihad Greenliner Program at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, and the arrival of the flagship Greenliner in January 2020, Etihad Airways today (December 15) officially inaugurated the latest aircraft in its journey towards sustainability, with the pioneering 2020 ecoDemonstrator entering commercial service following a series of industry-leading test flights across the United States. The aircraft, a brand-new Boeing 787-10 registered A6-BMI, is the latest arrival to Etihad’s 39-strong fleet of 787 Dreamliners, making the UAE national airline one of the world’s largest operators of the technologically advanced aircraft type. 

As the 2020 ecoDemonstrator, in partnership with Boeing, NASA and Safran Landing Systems, Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner was used as a flying testbed to accelerate technological developments with the goal of making commercial aviation safer and more sustainable. A familiar sight in the skies over the American Northwest in recent months, the uniquely branded Dreamliner, kitted out with complex testing equipment, conducted extensive research flying above Montana and between Washington state and South Carolina.

To celebrate its launch into regular service, the special aircraft has been fitted with a commemorative plaque highlighting its contribution to sustainability, while its fuselage still retains some of the original ecoDemonstrator flight-test branding, including the ecoDemonstrator and Boeing logos, in addition to the words ‘From Abu Dhabi for the World’, a reimagined version of the airline’s famous tagline.

During the ecoDemonstrator program, A6-BMI was decked out with special equipment for eight days of specialized testing on seven initiatives to enhance safety and reduce CO2 emissions and noise. Flights took place in Glasgow, Montana, and during two transcontinental trips between Seattle, Washington, and Charleston South Carolina. During testing, a series of flights gathered the most detailed NASA aircraft noise information to date from approximately 1,200 microphones attached to the outside of the 787 and also positioned on the ground. 

The information will improve NASA’s aircraft noise prediction capabilities, advance ways for pilots to reduce noise and inform future quiet aircraft designs. Two cross-country flights across the United States demonstrated a new way for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers to communicate simultaneously, resulting in optimized routing, arrival times and reduced CO2 emissions.

As part of the program, Etihad and Boeing tested two innovative ‘wellness’ technologies that will help airlines combat the treatment of COVID-19, by safely and quickly cleaning high-touch surfaces. These were a handheld ultraviolet light disinfecting system and an antimicrobial coating that helps prevent the growth of bacteria on tray tables, arm rests and other surfaces. 

The highest permissible blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) was used throughout the program, as well as on the delivery flight from Charleston to Abu Dhabi. As a result, over 60 tonnes of emissions were avoided on the delivery flight alone. 

The aircraft’s delivery flight to Abu Dhabi saw Etihad collaborate with multiple Airspace Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) including the FAA, UK NATS and EUROCONTROL to optimise the flight path, cutting fuel burn by more than one tonne and CO2 emissions by approximately four tonnes. Following Etihad’s special flights to Brussels and Dublin in January and March 2020 respectively, this initiative continues to demonstrate Etihad’s strong track record in collaboration with ANSPs to optimize airspace utilization to deliver lower fuel consumption, noise and carbon emissions.

Etihad and Boeing also collaborated on testing new route planning technology on A6-BMI’s delivery flight. Boeing’s in-development capability forecasts a range of potential weather scenarios and suggests best available route options.

Etihad and Boeing’s partnership on the ecoDemonstrator program delivers on the airline’s commitment for its Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be a testbed for technology acceleration as part of the Etihad Greenliner program, and has demonstrated Etihad’s relentless commitment to sustainability in spite of the current COVID-19 crisis. Etihad continues to be committed to a minimum target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and halving of the airline’s 2019 net emission levels by 2035.

In line with Abu Dhabi’s vision and commitment to the reduction of Carbon Emissions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, sustainability and environmental protection is in Etihad’s DNA. Playing its part as the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s flag carrier, Etihad’s focus on sustainable developments in aviation aligns with many other initiatives of both the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the whole of the UAE. 

As an active member of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the UAE was among the first countries to voluntarily sign the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Today, the UAE is working closely with the ICAO international fuel group on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) as well Low Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF), both of which can play a critical role in enabling the safe and sustainable growth of the aviation sector while reducing its carbon intensity.

Photo: Etihad Airways.

 

Etihad Airways launches first aircraft carbon offset program in Middle East

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has committed to purchasing carbon offsets, to completely neutralize the CO2 emissions of its flagship “Greenliner” Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft for a full year of operations in 2021.

The initiative is the start of the airline’s journey to reduce CO2 emissions to 50 percent of 2019 levels by 2035, and to achieve full net zero emissions by 2050 – a first for any airline in the Gulf and one of the first to set a target of this scale in the industry. Separately the airline will implement an additional voluntary offset program for passengers via its website (etihad.com) in 2021.

Etihad’s Greenliner carbon offset program has been sourced in partnership with Respira, an international carbon offset finance house specializing in tailored offset schemes across multiple sectors. Etihad’s plan is centered on a Tanzanian forestry project and will initially purchase 80,000 tonnes of CO2 offsets.

The Makame Savannah REDD project – developed by Carbon Tanzania – employs a unique community-based model to curb deforestation and promote better management of local natural resources across over 100,000 hectares in the southern extension of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem.

The offset scheme is verified and certified by VERRA, an independent carbon offset quality assurance body, under its Verified Carbon Standard. This ensures carbon offsets are quantifiable, additional, and fully sustainable. In addition, the Tanzanian project conforms to Climate, Community and Biodiversity standards, which protect endangered species and local communities. The scheme’s first offset vintages were certified in early November 2020.

The launch of the Greenliner carbon offset program complements Etihad’s ongoing work to develop and test Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), with the goal of making them commercially viable for widespread adoption by the industry.

To support Etihad and Abu Dhabi’s long-term sustainability objectives, Respira will establish operations in the Capital of the UAE at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the Emirate’s international financial centre, to bring its offset expertise to the Middle East.

Etihad Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

Etihad Airways announces new route to Israel

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will launch daily scheduled year-round flights to Tel Aviv, the economic and technological center of Israel.

The launch of flights follows the normalisation of diplomatic ties between the two nations, and the signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel in Washington D.C. on  September 15, 2020. Only a month later, Etihad became the first GCC carrier to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Tel Aviv on October 19, 2020.

 

Etihad makes bold changes to organizational structure to address impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Etihad Airways has made this announcement:

etihad-organisational-structure-changes
  • Decisive steps taken to implement new operating model for Etihad as mid-sized carrier
  • New streamlined structure is leaner, flatter and scaleable to support organic growth as air travel resumes
  • Continued focus on safety, security and service and industry-leading Etihad Wellness program

Etihad Airways has announced a new organizational structure that will position the business to deliver on its mandate in the wake of COVID-19 and meet the challenges of the global downturn in aviation head on.

The restructuring sees the airline continuing its transformation into a mid-sized, full-service carrier concentrating on its fleet of widebody aircraft, with a leaner, flatter and scaleable organisational structure that supports organic growth as the world returns to flying.

By embedding the new structure, the airline will strengthen its focus on its core offering of safety, security, service; continue developing its industry-leading health and hygiene programme Etihad Wellness, and prioritise innovation and sustainability, which are essential to the future of the airline.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “After our best-ever Q1 performance, none of us could have predicted the challenges that lay ahead in the remainder of this year. I’m extremely proud of the way my leadership team and the whole Etihad family have navigated the COVID-19 crisis so far, and I must express my gratitude to each member of the team for continually proving our adaptability to the most unexpected of circumstances.

“As a responsible business, we can no longer continue to incrementally adapt to a marketplace that we believe has changed for the foreseeable future. That is why we are taking definitive and decisive action to adjust our business and position ourselves proudly as a mid-sized carrier. The first stage of this is an operational model change that will see us restructure our senior leadership team and our organisation to allow us to continue delivering on our mandate, ensuring long-term sustainability, and contributing to the growth and prominence of Abu Dhabi.”

The new operational model will result in a number of changes to the executive leadership team to streamline the organizational structure.

Etihad Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Etihad makes history with the first commercial passenger flight from a GCC nation to Israel

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will become the first GCC carrier to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Israel, to bring Israel’s top travel and tourism leaders to the UAE.

The historic flight, flown in partnership with the Maman Group, will depart Tel Aviv on 19 October, operated by an Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for the three-and-a-half-hour journey from Israel to the UAE. The return journey will depart Abu Dhabi on 21 October.

As a travel trade mission, the flight will bring a group of tourism industry leaders, key corporate decision makers, travel agents, and cargo agents, along with media to experience Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE, at the invitation of Etihad Airways and representatives of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry.

This is the latest development in a growing cooperation between the two nations following the establishment of diplomatic ties, and the signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel in Washington D.C. on 15 September. It also follows Israeli national airline El Al’s first symbolic commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi on 31 August.

His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today’s flight is a historic opportunity for the development of strong partnerships here in the UAE, and in Israel, and Etihad as the national airline, is delighted to be leading the way. We are just starting to explore the long-term potential of these newly forged relationships, which will be sure to greatly benefit the economies of both nations, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism, and ultimately the people who call this diverse and wonderful region home.”

As an important facilitator of trade, the flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi will also carry commercial cargo sourced from, and destined for, points across Etihad’s global network, in addition to commercial guests.

Boeing and Etihad Airways concluded testing on the ecoDemonstrator program

Boeing and Etihad Airways concluded testing on the aerospace company’s 2020 ecoDemonstrator program last week with a cross-country flight using a 50/50 blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuel.

Flying from Seattle to Boeing’s manufacturing site in South Carolina, Etihad’s newest 787-10 Dreamliner used the maximum sustainable fuel blend permitted for commercial aviation. The transcontinental flight also demonstrated a new way for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers to communicate simultaneously and optimize routing.

Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program takes promising technologies out of the lab and tests them in the air to accelerate innovation. This year’s program evaluated four projects to reduce emissions and noise and enhance the safety and health of passengers and crew. All of the 787-10 test flights used a blend of traditional jet fuel and sustainable fuel produced from inedible agricultural wastes to minimize emissions, with the final flight operating at the maximum 50/50 commercial blend.

The fuel from World Energy and supplied to Boeing by EPIC Fuels has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to reduce carbon emissions by more than 75% over the fuel’s life cycle.

The partnership between Boeing and Etihad Airways represents a longstanding collaboration to make flying more sustainable. The two companies were among the founding partners that created the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium in 2010. Based at Khalifa University near Abu Dhabi, the pilot project for a unique desert ecosystem produces sustainable fuel from plants that grow in the desert, irrigated by coastal seawater. Etihad used the initial batch of fuel from the pilot project in January 2019 on a passenger flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam.

In January 2020, Etihad took delivery of its signature green 787-10 using a fuel mix comprising 30% SAF produced by World Energy.

Boeing has been a leader in industry efforts to develop sustainable aviation fuel since before the first test flight on a commercial airliner in 2008. Along with others in the industry, the company worked to gain certification of sustainable fuel for commercial use in 2011 and collaborates around the world to create regional production roadmaps.

For more than a decade, World Energy and EPIC Fuels have produced and supplied SAF to Boeing for flight testing. Boeing offers airlines the option of using sustainable fuel for their airplane delivery flights. The first of these occurred in 2012 with an Etihad 777-300ER delivery flight from Everett, Washington, to Abu Dhabi.

Photo: Boeing.

 

Etihad Airways keeps guests protected with global COVID-19 insurance

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is introducing COVID-19 global wellness insurance cover as part of Etihad Wellness, the airlines new health and hygiene programme.

Guests who are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip won’t have to worry about medical expenses or quarantine costs when they fly with Etihad.

Duncan Bureau, Senior Vice President Sales and Distribution, Etihad Airways, said: “The safety, health, and wellbeing of our guests and employees is our top priority, during and beyond the flight. The introduction of global COVID-19 insurance, in partnership with AXA, builds on stringent measures already in place as part of our Etihad Wellness programme, championed by our Wellness Ambassadors.

“This additional cover will not only instil confidence to travel but also reassure our guests that we are doing all we can to keep them safe and protected. As more countries start opening their borders, we are making it as easy as possible for our guests to plan their next trip, hassle free.”

All Etihad tickets regardless of date of booking, traveling between now and 31 December 2020 will include COVID-19 insurance. Guests with existing bookings don’t need to do anything – they are automatically enrolled into the programme. The insurance is valid worldwide for 31 days from the first day of travel.

Adelane Mecellem, Chief Executive Officer Asia, Middle-East, Turkey and Africa, AXA Partners, said: “At AXA, we are focused on improving the customer experience and wellness of individuals during these times. As such, we are proud to partner with one of the world’s leading airlines, Etihad Airways, and provide their extensive loyal travellers with new protection solutions when needed most.”

For new bookings, simply book your next flight on www.etihad.com, the mobile app, by calling the Etihad Airways Contact Centre in Abu Dhabi on +971 600 555 666 (UAE), or through your preferred travel agency – there are no forms to complete

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while you’re away from home, COVID-19 global wellness insurance will cover up to EUR150K of medical costs and up to EUR100 a day of quarantine costs in case of a positive diagnosis for 14 days.

Etihad Airways expands air-rail partnership with AccesRail in Europe

Etihad Airways has announced the expansion of its partnership with AccesRail, the world’s leading provider of air-rail intermodal solutions. The partnership allows Etihad to use AccesRail’s expertise to enable its customers to book train and coach tickets in Europe in conjunction with their air fare using the airline’s online booking platform, or through their travel agency.

Etihad’s guests can connect to and from their international flights to rail routes operated by major European railway companies using the airline’s ‘EY’ code, including an expanded network of seven rail routes on Germany’s Deutsche Bahn from Frankfurt Main Airport. The partnership with AccesRail has also been extended to the United Kingdom to include 16 destinations westbound from London Heathrow on Great Western Railway, and subject to final government approval, to 28 cities across Italy on the country’s primary rail operator, Trenitalia.

The expansion will also see additional inter-city coach services in the United Kingdom operated by National Express to 28 major British towns and cities from London Heathrow, and five from Manchester Airport.

Ali Saleh, Etihad Airways Vice President Alliances and Partnerships, said: “This is a tremendous product, which provides convenient rail or coach connections at some of our key gateways in Europe, enabling customers to commence their Etihad journey from multiple domestic points with the best fares available, all on the same itinerary and ticket.

“As we aim to personalise the guest experience in-flight by providing more choice and greater customisation, we continue to source more strategic partnerships which will mirror this on the ground, giving options and benefits to the many who choose to travel with us in Europe. We soon hope to expand the partnership with AccesRail to more continents.”

Etihad Airways has operated a similar agreement with France’s SNCF, providing codeshare services to 20 destinations on the French domestic rail network from the airline’s Paris gateway.

Andrew Popescu, Vice President Business Development, AccesRail, said: “We are excited to be deepening our Etihad-AccesRail cooperation and look forward to continuing with Etihad on

a global scale. Through this enhanced AccesRail partnership, Etihad will be able, now and in the future, to offer its customers more destinations and more possibilities.”

In operation for more than 20 years, Montreal-headquartered AccesRail is present on most global GDS systems, and partnering with major rail companies in Europe, USA, Canada, Korea, and Japan, making it possible for customers to book and purchase air and rail travel on the same itinerary.

More information is available on www.etihad.com.

Destination guide (effective immediately).

 

Deutsche Bahn (Germany)

From To
FRA – Frankfurt QDU – Dusseldorf
  ZMB – Hamburg
  ZVR – Hannover
  XIT – Leipzig Halle
  ZMU – Munich
  ZAQ – Nuremberg
  ZWS – Stuttgart

 

Great Western Railway (United Kingdom)

From To
LHR – London Heathrow QQX – Bath
UBW – Bridgwater
BPR – Bristol Parkway
TPB – Bristol Temple Meads
CFW – Cardiff
EXS – Exeter
GLO – Gloucester
XNE – Newport
OXQ – Oxford
PCW – Par
PZE – Penzance
PLH – Plymouth
USX – St Austell
SWS – Swansea
XWS – Swindon
TTY – Taunton

 

National Express coach services (United Kingdom)

From To
MAN – Manchester BHX – Birmingham
ZFC – Bradford
ZLZ – Leeds
LXC – Liverpool
ZMP – Manchester
LHR – London Heathrow QQX – Bath Spa
BHX – Birmingham
BOH – Bournemouth
BSH – Brighton
BRS – Bristol
CBG – Cambridge
CWL – Cardiff
CHW – Cheltenham Spa
CLB – Colchester
CVT – Coventry
EXT – Exeter
LGW – Gatwick
QEW – Leicester
LTN – Luton Airport
KYN – Milton Keynes
XNE – Newport
NWI – Norwich
ZGB – Nottingham
OXF – Oxford
POQ – Poole
PLH – Plymouth
RNW – Ringwood
SOU – Southampton
STN – Stansted
SWS – Swansea
XWS – Swindon
TTY – Taunton
WNC – Winchester

Note: Trenitalia services will be announced once government approvals received.

New PCR testing procedures for all travellers flying on Etihad Airways flights to Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways has made this announcement:

Effective August 1, 2020, all travelers flying Etihad Airways from around the world to Abu Dhabi, and those transferring via Abu Dhabi onto other flights, will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a list of approved testing facilities listed on www.etihad.com/destinationguide, alongside their ICA approval if Abu Dhabi is their end destination. The PCR test must be carried out within 96 hours prior to arrival in Abu Dhabi and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result certificate from one of the approved clinics listed must be shown for approval to board. Children under the age of 12 and people with mild to severe disabilities are currently exempt from this PCR test requirement.

Travellers leaving the UAE from Abu Dhabi to any country in the European Union, the United Kingdom, or to any country where it is mandatory by the authorities at the destination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required within 96 hours prior to departure. To help facilitate this process, Etihad Airways is collaborating with Mediclinic Middle East to offer departing travellers the option of convenient PRC testing, for a fee, at their home, or at Mediclinic facilities in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai prior to their travel.

The gradual return to more international flying to, from, and via Abu Dhabi is being greatly supported by the Etihad Wellness sanitisation and safety programme, which ensures the highest standards of hygiene are maintained at every stage of the customer journey. This includes specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who have been introduced by the airline to provide essential travel health information and care on the ground and on every flight, so guests can fly with greater ease and peace of mind. More information on the stringent measures being taken by Etihad Airways to provide a healthy and hygienic travel experience is available at www.etihad.com/wellness.

Etihad continues to follow UAE and international government, regulatory and health authority directives, and is playing its part in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19.