Etihad Airways performs 42 ecoflights over five days


Etihad Airways has successfully performed the world's most intensive sustainable flight testing programme, operating 42 eco-flights over a five-day period.

The programme tested operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that will reduce carbon emissions.

It also included 22 contrail prevention flights over the course of three days.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, highlighted that "the results... will contribute to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions and environmental impact".

"We’re well in the process of putting these innovations into standard operational procedures, which we hope to see replicated across the industry," he said.

While some technologies still need to be tested and developed, a number of other solutions are ready to go.

However, these "require an industry and regulatory response to become practical, that the industry needs to raise to the challenge for".

"This challenge needs policy changes from Governments, continued R&D, supply chain enhancements and refining improvements. The other big area, which has a simple solution but requires fundamental restructure to the way things currently work, is for the industry, traffic controllers and regulators to modernize flight paths for controlled climbs and continuous descent.

"In our demonstration EcoFlights we've been able to take at least 40 minutes out of flight times and reduce the CO2 content by around six tonnes, which is incredible," he added.

"Operating EcoFlights on the A350-1000 is a big step forward as an example of the world’s two largest aircraft manufactures working in tandem for the mutual objective of aviation decarbonisation through Etihad’s comprehensive Sustainable50 and Greenliner sustainability programme," Douglas concluded.

Through these programmes, and Etihad’s ongoing research and testing initiatives such as EcoFlights, Etihad encourages and invites partners from across the aviation sector to join and test sustainability initiatives on scheduled 787 and A350 operations. The results are then processed and validated, with the most sustainable initiatives used as a base for improving the performance of the global airline community.

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