Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has continued to make improvements in the fuel efficiency of its fleet, resulting in substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and reinforcing the sustainability credentials of the airline.
airline’s dedicated fuel efficiency team drove numerous initiatives across all
operational functions of the business, saving over 60,000 tonnes of fuel. This
2.5% improvement during 2016 amounts to nearly 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide
savings, the equivalent of 1,200 flights between Abu Dhabi and London or the
removal of over 40,000 cars from the road.
consumption is influenced by many factors such as the aircraft and engine type,
the weight being carried and the duration of the flight. The airline is working
on several key initiatives to optimise efficiency, both with the aircraft
itself and through external collaboration with aircraft manufacturers such as
Boeing and Airbus.
Hill, Chief Operations Officer for Etihad Airways, said: “Fuel optimisation is
a top agenda item for any successful and sustainable airline, with Etihad
Airways no exception. There have been some encouraging results during 2016 and
I’m delighted to see so many of our pilots fully engaged with the programme, as
this has ensured additional learning opportunities and the identification of
new measures that can deliver greater fuel savings in the years ahead. It’s a
vital part of our sustainability efforts and we will continue to look for ways
to improve our performance.”
weight can be a vital part of fuel savings, with aircraft such as the A380
having a maximum take-off weight of 575 tonnes, equivalent to 115 African
elephants or 218 Toyota Land Cruisers. The airline has made a
conscientious effort to reduce the weight of on-board items. A ‘weight
out’ programme, which resulted in the removal or replacement of on board items,
led to a fuel burn reduction of 1,100 tonnes of fuel per year.
plays a part in influencing aircraft fuel efficiency. The airline is investing
in new technology such as the ‘Boeing Wind Uplink’ scheme to ensure that flight
crews have the latest information on weather patterns, allowing them to plan
for the optimum fuel performance of their aircraft during flight. Fuel burn
performance is negatively impacted by seasonal fog, requiring additional
holding fuel to be carried, inbound to Abu Dhabi and the airline is now
collaborating with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi
to enable more accurate fog predictions.
continuous reviews to holding fuel policy have allowed for more accurate
calculation of additional fuel requirements, using past data to ensure adequate
additional fuel requirements are met. Airport staff are also supporting
efforts to ensure that ground power is used instead of the auxiliary power unit
when aircraft are on the ground. These and many other initiatives have led to
the positive results delivered so far with different areas of the business such
as Engineering, Airports and Guest Experience working to identify new areas
where additional savings can be delivered.
environmental benefits are not only substantial but the efficiency improvement
in 2016 compared to 2015 exceeds the emissions reduction goal that the industry
has set itself, currently a 1.5% efficiency improvement across international
aviation. By going beyond this Etihad Airways is also contributing to carbon neutral
growth targets and the ultimate long term goal - for emissions to be fifty
percent of 2005 levels by 2050.