and Sustainable Flight

Our ecoFlights and Sustainable Flights are our chance to put our commitment, our technologies, operational efficiencies and, ultimately, ourselves to the test. See how these flights have progressed from 2019 to the present and watch as we become even more sustainable.

ecoFlights milestones

Our initial four ecoFlights were trial runs for our Sustainable Flight. They’ve been instrumental in our learning about how to use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, adjust flight paths for optimal efficiency and practice continuous descent to reduce fuel consumption and noise.

The history of our ecoFlights:

  • Abu Dhabi to Brussels
    13 January 2020 | Sustainability Week ecoFlight
  • Charleston to Abu Dhabi
    23 January 2020 | Etihad Greenliner arrival flight
  • Abu Dhabi to Dublin
    17 March 2020 | First Etihad Greenliner ecoFlight
  • Abu Dhabi to Rome
    17 April 2021 | Earth Day 2021 ecoFlight

Sustainable Flight milestones

Many targets were hit on our Sustainable Flight from London to Abu Dhabi on 23 October 2021. Here are a few of its successes:

  • 80% of single use plastics eliminated from amenities
  • Aircraft baggage transported in Abu Dhabi airport using electric tractors
  • Biofuel used to power transit coach services
  • Data gathered by aircraft sensors analysed by GE Digital
  • 38% SAF utilised on the flight
  • Expedited flight routing, continuous descent and arrival patterns, single-engine taxi and potable water optimisation reduced fuel burn
  • As an industry first, the flight was the first commercial flight to trial contrail prevention using SATAVIA software. We prevented a net c.64 tonnes of CO2e (with a marginal fuel burn increase of 100kgs)

Sustainability successes

Our comprehensive programme of ecoFlights has led to unprecedented industry advances. All data gathered from the test flights have been analysed and added to the airline’s knowledge base, which is being used to help us transition to decarbonisation. Here are just a few of our accomplishments with the programme.

Optimised flight paths

Coordinated with ANSPs to optimise direct routing, flight paths and descent.

Contrails prevention

Working with SATAVIA, we reduced non CO2 emissions by not flying into cirrus clouds caused by engine exhaust, which can trap warmer air in the lower atmosphere.

Variable speed during cruise

Etihad and Boeing to developed software that suggests an optimal cruise speed based on atmospheric conditions and aircraft weight saving about 1.5% fuel on each flight.

Reduced flaps for landing

Using smaller flaps reduces drag and requires less thrust and fuel consumption during approach on longer runways, saving about 30kgs of fuel on each approach.

Reduced engine taxi

Most ground movements are conducted utilising only the power of one engine. By shutting down one aircraft engine while landing, Etihad reduced carbon emissions by 20 to 40%.

Reduced carbon footprint

Etihad Aviation Group reduced its carbon footprint from 9,828,970 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018 to 4,310,592 tonnes in 2021.