“Etihad Airways” .. Innovative initiatives that increase sustainability on the ground and in the air

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Etihad Airways has managed to continue its ambitious strategy aimed at improving the sustainability process and preserving the environment, based on the Emirati Emirate’s leading position in the sustainability sector, with the aim of accelerating the pace of development. strengthening partnerships, using modern technologies and adopting innovation, which makes travel safer and more sustainable. .

In an exclusive interview with Al Bayan, Maryam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability and Business Excellence at Etihad Airways, said the airline is always working to promote the concept of sustainability based on innovation in the aviation sector in order to preserve the environment. . reducing aircraft noise and reducing carbon emissions Creating effective environmental solutions.

She added that Etihad launched the first Airbus A350 aircraft from Abu Dhabi to Paris on March 31, making it the first aircraft of its kind to be operated in the UAE. The operation of this aircraft is in line with the sustainability strategy followed by Etihad Airways, thanks to its many features, as the rate of fuel combustion of this aircraft is reduced by 25% compared to its class aircraft, which contributes to saving money, preserving the environment and reducing carbon emissions in compared to the previous dual generation. planes in the corridor.

She explained that the inclusion of this aircraft in the fleet of “Etihad” is in line with the company’s policy aimed at controlling costs and expenses, which played a major role in achieving positive financial results and strong operational performance over the past year. , as the company managed to reduce operating losses to $ 476 million, amid expectations for a return on profitability by the end of 2022, ie before the specified date, which is the end of 2023.

Al Qubaisi stated that in connection with the financing of sustainability, Etihad Airways raised $ 1.2 billion in the first credit related to sustainability related to environmental, social and corporate governance objectives in the global aviation sector, in cooperation with HSBC and First Abu Dhabi Bank as strategic partners and financiers of those Agreement, noting that the agreement is the largest sustainable financing agreement in the history of aviation and comes after two innovative aviation financing agreements, the first transformational sukuk related to sustainability in 2020, through which it was able to raise $ 600 million to support investments in its fleet aimed at reducing carbon emissions, as well as the first credit in the aviation sector related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. United in 2019.

The head of the Department of Sustainability and Business Excellence at Etihad Airways said the airline is working to reduce carbon emissions by 2050, as well as halve the level of carbon emissions by 2035, compared to 2019, exploring ways of cooperating with the aviation ecosystem. , including the signing of Partnership relations with government institutions and relevant bodies, highlighting the opportunities available such as improving airspace management.

She noted that the Etihad Aviation Group’s sustainability strategy is in line with the seventeen sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. This paper addresses one of the key elements included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals program to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft operations by identifying the “life cycle” of each flight.

Al-Qubaisi continued: “This usually involves the relevant stages of the preparation of each aircraft, which include maintenance, cleaning, refueling, loading, operation, ground temperature control, ideal direction, cargo planning, ground and air fuel improvements, and real-time management. variables such as weather, wind, air traffic congestion and arrival procedures. This includes the most efficient ways to approach, land and reach the runway in the terminal building, operate the aircraft on the ground and unload, clean and dispose of debris, before the whole process starts again. Also, aircraft catering and hotel services represent a special process that adds another level of complexity. ”

Etihad Greenliner Program

Mariam Al Qubaisi stated that Etihad and Boeing signed in November 2019 a key global strategic partnership focused on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which mainly focuses on the commitment to work for more sustainable aviation, adding maintenance, training and other operational activities, noting that both companies are working on research and testing technology Innovative products designed to improve aviation efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, as well as to introduce more sustainable products and practices and further reduce carbon emissions.

Al Qubaisi added: “These activities are part of the Etihad Greenliner program, which began after the delivery of a new Boeing 787, whose exterior paint reflects the Etihad Airways and Boeing partnership and their sustainability research activities, which also extend in the exchange of knowledge. , resources and learning, for the benefit of all Dreamliner operators.

She stated that Etihad Airways is collaborating with Boeing on the current Boeing 787 EcoDemonstrator program. To support their alliance, the two companies announced that the entire Etihad fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft will be available for flight tests that help assess the sustainable features of new products and processes. It uses real-time data and analytics from aircraft computer systems.

Al Qubaisi added: “Based on Etihad’s view that reducing carbon emissions for air transport is a problem for the entire aviation sector and not for one airline in particular, Etihad has issued an invitation to aviation suppliers asking them to review their sustainability initiatives and how they can Comply with airline efforts to become more sustainable, either by developing affordable and lightweight alternatives to single-use plastic components in the cabin or by reducing the weight of components, or equipment to reduce fuel combustion and emissions. “

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