Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, continues to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by implementing fuel saving initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to sustainability.
Following a number of improvements
aimed at enhancing operational fleet efficiencies, Etihad Airways reduced 148,000
tonnes of carbon emissions in 2018. The savings are equivalent to approximately
1,236 flights between Abu Dhabi and Barcelona or the removal of over 10,200 cars
from the road.
Fuel consumption is influenced
by several factors such as air traffic management, weight carried and how the
aircraft is flown. Last year, the airlines B777-200s were retired in favour of
the most fuel efficient commercial aircraft in operation, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner,
due to its lightweight composite structure.
Captain Sulaiman Yaqoobi , VP Flight
Operations, Etihad Airways said: “By increasing collaboration on a monthly
basis within the airline’s Flight Operations, Network Operations, Ground
Operations areas and Etihad Engineering, Etihad saw noticeable improvements to
its fuel savings and emissions profile, a top agenda for a sustainable
Etihad pilots play a critical
role in the airline’s environmental initiatives, significantly increasing savings
by analysing insights and flight data to effectively apply key fuel efficiency
procedures. Utilising a single engine to taxi the aircraft in and out on the
tarmac reduces fuel burn. To reduce drag and conserve fuel, pilots select lower
Statistics on reduced engine taxiing
as well as reduced flap landings have demonstrated record-breaking results. The
achieved savings equated to saving fuel for approximately 1,440 hours of flying
time, saving 7,900 tonnes of fuel and eliminating 24,900 tonnes of carbon
dioxide. A new app has been introduced to all pilots which provides up-to-date
information on current fuel-saving achievements as well as saving opportunities
for every flight they are performing.
To manage fuel uplift, aviation
regulation dictates a contingency of three per cent should be carried. Approved
by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) last year, Etihad Airways adopted
a new fuel planning methodology which allows the airline to deviate from the
three per cent by demonstrating that analysis of historical statistical data
produced a more accurate calculation of actual fuel required.
Several weight reduction
projects have also been completed, including a carpet retrofit across the airline’s
fleet to a lighter option, the refining of catering loads based on the actual
number of passengers on board, and controlling the amount of potable water
loaded based on actual requirement.
An improved engine washing
procedure performed at regular intervals to remove environmental deposits,
which increase engine workload, also improved efficiency by as much as 0.5 per
Etihad operates a programme of
innovative thinking devoted to sustainability and carbon reduction, refined
through continuous operational adjustments as well as long-term projects such
as aviation biofuel development.
In January 2019, Etihad Airways flew the world’s
first commercial flight using locally produced sustainable fuel made from
plants grown in saltwater, the flagship project of the Sustainable Bioenergy