The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Aviation is essential for business:

  • Its contribution to global economic prosperity is estimated at US$2.2 trillion.
  • It supports over 56 million jobs worldwide.
  • 3.5% of global GDP is supported by aviation

…and essential for leisure:

  • 35% of international tourists travel by air
  • Aviation-enabled tourism creates 4.4 million jobs 

Airlines, through IATA, are committed to sustainable growth:

  • A 1.5% improvement in aviation fleet efficiency every year
  • From 2020 carbon emissions will be capped through carbon neutral growth
  • By 2050, net emissions from aviation will be half of what they were in 2005

The commitment of Etihad Airways

The commitment of Etihad Airways

At Etihad Airways we have maintained healthy finances in 2012:

  • Total revenue up by 17% from 2011 to US$4.8 billion
  • Net profit of US$42 million 

…and created jobs and wealth for local communities:

  • Increased our number of employees in 2012 by 18%
  • UAE nationals comprise 22% of the workforce
  • All female Emirati contact centre in Al Ain

…and increased our diversity:

  • More than 14,500 staff representing 125 nationalities

…and keep our staff well:

  • Dedicated Etihad Airways Medical Centre
  • Regular wellness days with preventative care checks
  • ‘Fit 2 Fly’ leisure facilities in major residential locations

…and supported national sports through major sponsorships:

  • 10-year partnership deal with Manchester City Football Club
  • Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • Continued sponsorship of Harlequins Rugby Club, GAA Hurling in Ireland and the Etihad Stadium Melbourne

…and continued to improve on our environmental commitments:

  • 24% improvement in carbon emissions per passenger kilometre since 2006
  • Invested in aviation biofuel development in Abu Dhabi and our first biofuel flight in 2012
  • A successful water saving campaign for staff in 2012

All this is supported by a rigourous corporate governance framework.

Our Reports

View our 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

View our 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

What we are doing

Fuel Optimisation
As part of its on-going efforts to limit its carbon footprint Etihad Airways initiated a week-long campaign in September 2013 to promote its company-wide fuel efficiency program designed to further raise awareness of its significant efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The Fuel Optimisation Week program highlighted specific activities designed to reduce the consumption of aircraft fuel, both on the ground and in the air, while maintaining the airline’s high levels of safety and guest comfort. The reduction in fuel consumption results in a reduction in carbon emissions, reducing the potential negative impact of aviation on the environment.

On September 25, fuel optimisation efforts where coordinated on a global scale in an ultra-long haul flight from Abu Dhabi to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is the airline’s longest route.

Working with Civil Aviation Authorities and Air Navigation Service Providers along the entire flight of over 12,000 kilometres, Etihad Airways maximised the use of a range of initiatives in reducing the use of fuel from departure gate to arrival gate, including optimised ground handling at both ends of the journey and maximising efficiency opportunities in route and altitude selection.

Learn more about what we are doing to optimize fuel here.

Sustainable Fuel
While the airline industry works tirelessly in looking for opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint, the growth of the industry, in line with global economic and social demands, will inevitably drive the continued net growth in emissions.

Etihad Airways recognises this and the role we can play in helping to support the move towards viable sustainable alternatives to regular fossil fuel as a major step forward in decarbonising the industry.

The progression towards the acceptance and potential use of biofuels in the aviation industry over the last two to three years has been rapid with drivers such as climate policies, carbon regulations and fears around the cost and supply of fossil fuels leading to a proliferation of global initiatives investigating sustainable aviation alternatives and their commercial feasibility.

Watch a video of our recent aviation biofuel event.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG)

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG).
Our commitment to using only fully sustainable fuels is confirmed by our membership of SAFUG which  consists of 23 international airlines, all committed to enabling the commercialisation of sustainable alternatives to fossil-based aviation fuel.

This independent airline group represents approximately 20% of the commercial global fuel use and is focused on supporting and driving sustainability principles in the development and commercialisation of alternative fuels. New members are only admitted by majority vote of existing members and are required to make a formal application committed to driving the development of biofuels and sign to the SAFUG sustainability pledge.

The pledge includes commitment to the following:

  • The development of feedstock in a manner which is non-competitive with food, and where biodiversity impacts are minimised. In addition, the cultivation of plant-based feedstock sources should not jeopardise drinking water supplies.
  • Total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from plant growth, harvesting, processing and end-use should be significantly reduced compared to those associated with jet fuels from fossil sources.
  • In developing economies, development projects include provisions or outcomes that improve socio-economic conditions for small-scale farmers who rely on agriculture to feed their families, and that do not require the involuntary displacement of local populations.
  • High conservation value areas and native eco-systems should not be cleared and converted for jet fuel plant source development.
The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium

The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium
Led by the Masdar Institute and funded by Etihad Airways, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP and the Abu Dhabi Government, the project is focused on the research and development of biofuels in the region.

The flagship program of the consortium is investigating and piloting an integrated seawater energy agriculture energy system (ISEAS) utilising both aquaculture and potential feedstock. 

The production of Salicornia – a saltwater tolerant, oil producing halophyte – is part of a system which includes the development of commercial fish and shrimp farming along marginal desert coastal areas.

The ISEAS makes provision for the nutrient-rich effluent from the aquaculture system to be directed to Salicornia plantations, providing essential nutrients for the growth of these shrub-like plants. The effluent undergoes further biological treatment in mangrove habitats which can themselves be harvested and converted into electricity, as well as providing a habitat for birds and coastal fish.

Initial small scale investigations into yield and extensive desk top investigations have been very positive, with studies indicating that there may be some carbon positive benefits as residual carbon becomes locked in the soils.
Going Organic

Etihad Airways has purchased 200 hens, three bee hives, and buys organic lettuces as part of its ongoing commitment towards providing fresh, organic and locally produced foods for its customers.

The airline is committed to sourcing and using ‘Product of the UAE’ items wherever and whenever possible, and the partnership with Abu Dhabi Organics Farms is a great example of how the airline is working together with UAE companies to bring local products to the world.

Abu Dhabi Organics Farms where the bees and hens are kept, and the vegetables are sourced, was established in 1997 by Khalid Al Shamsi, an Emirati national passionate about organic living.

The farms cover more than 55 hectares of land and feature greenhouses and fields. They produce over 60 different kinds of organic vegetables, fruit and herbs, as well as poultry and livestock.

Abu Dhabi Organics Farms works with the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and has been awarded the Food Security Medal. It is also a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), which issues accreditation and certificates for organic produce.
Al Ain contact centre

Recognising the need to create job opportunities for the women of Al Ain and meeting the demands of its rapidly growing business, the airline opened an all women contact centre in Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Recruitment of women started in June 2010 with the first recruits placed in a six-month development program which included training in reservations, sales, customer service, basic English skills and computer skills. The new employees, many of whom already had college degrees (and in some instances, multiple degrees) were taught the business of the airline and how to successfully meet the demands of full-time work.

In March 2011, the Al Ain contact centre officially opened its doors with 85 highly qualified and fully trained Emirati women on staff.  By the end of 2012, the staff had increased by 150% and the center was handling over 61,000 calls per month.

Excellence is key to the success of the Al Ain contact centre as evidenced by the fact that the center won the awards for “Best Facility” and “Best Quality Submission” at the Insights Middle East Call Centre Awards 2012.

Etihad participates in numerous projects and initiatives that positively impact and improve the lives of people in the local community.



Etihad Airways supports a range of sporting and cultural events in the United Arab Emirates and worldwide. These sponsorships are consistent with the airline’s values of hospitality, team spirit, and helping bring Abu Dhabi to the world. 

Our major sponsorships include the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Manchester City Football Club, Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Sport Australia Hall of Fame, GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship, Harlequins Rugby Football Club and V8 Supercars Australia.

We work with our sports partners to develop Emirati sporting talent and support grass roots sport in the UAE in various community program properties including the F1 in Schools Program in conjunction with Mubadala; the Etihad Manchester City Soccer School Program reaching over 2000 children; and the Etihad Harlequins Rugby Schools Program and Clinic, which in the last six years has reached over 3,000 children from schools in Abu Dhabi.

Sougha collaboration

Local Programs

A unique collaboration with Sougha, a Khalifa Fund initiative, is working with women in the Western Region, to preserve traditional crafts in a range of modern products that are included in the duty free selection onboard Etihad Airways flights. 

This project supports the economic inclusion and development of an otherwise marginalised rural community, the enhancement and creation of working opportunities for women, and the Emirate’s overall goal of economic diversification.

Bayt Al Qindeel, an Abu Dhabi based initiative, helps maintain and encourage local traditions and cultures. The first series of craft workshops was held in April 2013, when skilled craftsmen came to teach the art and science of traditional Islamic stone work.

The Australian Arab Emerging Women Dialogue gave the opportunity to leading women from the around the region to engage with preeminent members of government and businesses in Australia. Over the ten-day initiative, Arab women were able to tell their stories, break stereotypes and form meaningful relationships and a platform for long term knowledge sharing.

Global Programs

Global Programs

One of the most effective ways an airline can provide support is by transporting experts, volunteers and essential cargo to the places where they are needed the most in time of crisis or humanitarian need. Our efforts in this area have been and continue to be substantial, working with and through other many organisations, including Airlink and Care by Air, to not only help those in need, but to also help those who work to help others.

Care by Air
Etihad is a founding signatory and member of Care by Air, a humanitarian and relief aid initiative from Abu Dhabi together with Maximus Air Cargo and Abu Dhabi Airport Services. Care by Air provides cargo space at cost price to deliver relief aid to disaster stricken areas around the world.

Etihad is a registered member of Airlink, which provides and promotes a free web-based portal aimed at addressing developmental and emergency humanitarian air transportation needs. The system connects charities and non-government organisations with airlines that can provide passenger or cargo transportation for free or at reduced cost to meet humanitarian and emergency relief aid requirements.

Founded by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Mosaic has two key priorities - to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds, and to promote cultural understanding between different people and groups.

Etihad has a longstanding relationship with Mosaic, and over the last five years has sponsored numerous initiatives, including the Mosaic International Summer School and the Mosaic International Awards.

As the official airline for the Mosaic International Summit, Etihad flies delegates from across the Muslim world to attend the program which, in addition to providing opportunities for delegates to develop leadership skills, offers a multicultural perspective of key global issues and works with students to address these in positive and creative ways.

Other examples of our recent initiatives include:

  • Supporting Monyati, a non-profit social development organisation that has carried out charitable programs in Nepal, Pakistan, Brazil, Ethiopia Mexico and Sudan since 2009. Support was provided through providing airline tickets and cargo space.
  • In support of Women and Health Alliance International, the UAE Red Crescent and Shelterbox, Etihad provided cargo assistance for Somalian disaster relief kits.
  • Proving transport for relief items to Syria through a collaborative effort with UAE Red Crescent and the ‘Emirati Helping Hands’
  • Supporting the important work of Magic Bus, which enables some of the world’s poorest families to move out poverty through the use of a mentoring model and sports-based curriculum in India
  • Supporting  veterinary aid for birds across the Indian continent and tiger conservation in Sumatra through the Wildlife Vets International Organization, through the provision of tickets for specialist vets
  • Provision of airline tickets to support a number of important international events including:
    • The Eye on Earth Summit, hosted by the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi
    • The Woman in Leadership (WIL) conference in Abu Dhabi
    • The Australian Davos Connection Leadership retreat in Australia
    • The International  Urdu Mushaira (poetry) event in Abu Dhabi
    • Tedx and TedxWWF in Abu Dhabi
    • The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Emirates Foundation) in Abu Dhabi