Etihad Airways ‘to halve 2019 emissions by 2035’ in zero net carbon quest

By Luke Barras-hill |


Etihad Airways is eyeing a minimum target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Source: Etihad Airways.

UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways has committed to a target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has tipped passenger volumes to double within 20 years, from 4.5 billion in 2019 to approximately nine billion by the end of 2030.

In helping to offset its impact on the environment, Etihad Airways will roll out internal initiatives, collaborate with industry partners and adopt a ‘comprehensive programme of relevant carbon offsets’ in line with its flight markets and the UAE.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group said: “The global focus on the environment and the urgency of reducing carbon emissions has never been greater. Etihad Aviation Group, together with its partners, is taking an active role in reducing the impact of aviation on the environment through initiatives ranging from optimised fuel management to sustainable financing practices.”


The airline has launched its Greenliner Programme using Boeing 787s to test new sustainability plans amid continued investment in the latest, most fuel-efficient aircraft.

Alongside increasing its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Etihad is introducing the wide-bodied Arbus 350-1000, Boeing 777-9 and narrow-bodied Airbus A321neo.

On Monday (13 January), the Middle Eastern carrier operated a special ‘eco-flight’ from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in aid of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020 (11-18 January).


 The Etihad Greenliner programme uses Boeing 787s as the testbed for a range of sustainability actions.

Flight EY57, part of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, consumes more than 15% less fuel than Etihad’s previous aircraft types.

It followed an optimised flight route coordinated by Eurocontrol to slash fuel consumption and carbon emissions and was supported by a number of other action before, during and after the flight to flag Etihad Airways’ green credentials.

Onboard, this included minimal single-use plastics and removal of plastic wrapping from blankets; headsets wrapped in paper and velvet bags; plastic-free amenity kits; lightweight metal cutlery and meals served in aluminium dishes; and recyclable beverage cups.

Etihad is also implementing or considering further ideas such as ‘eco-wash’ cleansing of its aircraft engines to improve fuel efficiency and minimise emissions and reducing single-use plastics by 80% by 2022.

Douglas added: “Sustainable practice is a critical and continuing challenge for the air transport industry, which is striving to reduce carbon emissions and waste, while meeting soaring demand for air travel. It is also a key priority of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in which Etihad is a critical driver of both social and economic development.

“This year’s national theme of the United Arab Emirates is ‘2020: Towards The Next 50’. Etihad is committed to working continuously with a range of partners as part of a broader national focus on environmental sustainability.”


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