Flying towards

zero emissions

Decarbonisation is a core pillar of our sustainability strategy; to reduce carbon emissions in every part of our business and in doing so, protect the planet. In a pledge to be net zero by 2050, we’re on a journey to reduce the impact flying has on the environment and transform the future of aviation. And it’s our most important journey so far.

Read our CO2 Emission Statement.

Zero net emissions by 2050

We’re committed to our goal of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2050. To do that, we pledge to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions intensity by 2025, and by 2035, we aim to have cut 2019 net emissions by 50%. 

But we’re not stopping there. 

From our innovative Etihad Greenliner and advanced flight planning systems to the use of sustainable fuels, we’re working with industry leaders to guarantee we keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Etihad Greenliner

Through our innovative sustainability programme, the Etihad Greenliner continues to trial new technologies that make our flights more energy efficient.

In partnership with Boeing and GE, we’re testing new green technologies – including the use of sustainable alternative fuels (SAFs) and eco-friendly in-flight products – on our Dreamliner fleet, with a specially-themed Boeing 787 at the helm.

ecoDemonstrator programme

Building on our successful Greenliner programme, the ecoDemonstrator programme used commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to improve the entire aviation ecosystem; from cabins and landing gears to CO2 emissions and noise.

In partnership with Boeing, the 2020 programme was the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, and all test flights were conducted using 30% – 50% sustainable aviation fuels.

Following completion of testing, the “Abu Dhabi for the World” decaled aircraft arrived with the world’s highest volume of 50% sustainable aviation fuels, avoiding 60 tonnes of CO2 .

Sustainable Flights

We launched our first Eco Flight back in 2019 to test and develop advanced solutions that tackle key sustainability challenges.

We took that one step further in October 2021 and flew our first Sustainable Flight – the most environmentally-friendly flight in our history.

Powered by almost 40% sustainable fuels, Sustainable Flights reduce primary carbon emissions by 72% and use 80% fewer single-use plastics on board.

They’re also an exciting opportunity to trial innovative and eco-friendly products. We use our Sustainable Flights to challenge local and global suppliers and champion those who step up to the plate.

Offset your carbon emissions

We’ve partnered with CarbonClick so that you can offset your carbon emissions when you fly.

By offsetting your emissions, you’ll help to fund gold-standard projects around the world that significantly reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Like the development of biogas generators that turn waste into energy, and wildlife projects that fight deforestation.

Beyond the aircraft

Reducing emissions isn’t just about the type of aircraft we fly; it’s about how we fly them. We’re using statistical data to optimise our operations beyond just the aircraft, making adjustments wherever we can to limit the emissions we produce. 

Fuel efficiency programme

Our dedicated Fuel Efficiency Steering Committee focuses on implementing fuel-saving initiatives across the business.

At the same time, Etihad is actively optimising approach, flight path and continuous descent and ascent operations on our routes to save fuel. We also use the latest digital navigation charts and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) burn management methods to find the most efficient ways of flying.

Sustainable fuels

Etihad has contributed significantly to the development of sustainable aviation fuel through investments, R&D, trialling, testing and advocacy.

As founding partners of BioJET Abu Dhabi – created to develop a biofuel supply chain in the UAE – the SBRC (Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium), and alongside Masdar to support the Green Hydrogen economy, Etihad is positioned to effectively pursue further opportunities for SAF engagement. The efforts serve to de-risk the supply chain and make sustainable fuels commercially sustainable.

In 2021, Etihad signed a Joint Development Agreement with Tadweer to develop waste to fuel from MSU which further support the nation’s landfill diversion goals. The airline is also committed to testing and, when possible, introducing sustainable aviation fuels from various sources into its energy mix.

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Lighter planes, fewer emissions

Lighter planes mean less fuel burn, and therefore fewer emissions. From calculating how much water we need on board to encouraging guests to pack a bit less, we do everything we can to make sure our planes are as light as possible.

And that extends to our cargo operations too. In July 2021, Etihad Cargo introduced Lightweight Unit Load Devices (ULDs) to further reduce carbon emissions. The lightweight containers have the potential to conserve around 830 tonnes of weight per month for wide-bodied flights at full scale use.

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Modern fleet

As part of our decarbonisation strategy, we have one of the youngest, most innovative and fuel-efficient fleets in the world. On average, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 15-25% more efficient than similar aircraft, and by 2023, it 787 will make up more than 50% of our fleet.

Under our Sustainable50 programme, we also introduced the innovative Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to our fleet in 2022. Powered by Rolls Royce WXB, the A350 is more than 1kg lighter than any other Airbus aircraft, and 50% quieter.

Carbon emissions and intensity forecast

Etihad Airways doesn’t only use absolute emissions but also carbon intensity as a core KPI to measure the progress of our 2050 net zero roadmap. It is important to deliver this ambitious target, based on a clearly defined timeline, where intermediate targets and trigger events are identified, and progress is publicly disclosed.

To achieve this Etihad Airways has linked the carbon intensity KPI targets to its loan agreements and meets the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020. This assures that the KPI is relevant and, from an environmental standpoint, is measurable, externally verifiable and can be benchmarked.

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