Etihad tests green inflight options

ABU DHABI, 26 April 2021: Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has operated its first ecoFlight for 2021, continuing research and testing under the Etihad Greenline programme, which is part of the airline’s mission toward carbon-neutral flying.

The maiden 2021 ecoFlight, EY83, departed Abu Dhabi for Rome last week, testing a range of flight and engine initiatives, as well as onboard product enhancements to reduce weight and single-use plastics that will ultimately be incorporated into commercial services across the airline network. 

Core objectives include reducing single-use plastics and also reducing overall weight during commercial flights. But Etihad has also been also testing initiatives to mitigate the Covid-19 challenge.

The Greenline programme was launched last year in partnership with Boeing, GE and other aviation leaders and is part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and halving net emission levels by 2035.

Sustainable Products, Weight Reduction and Cabin Waste

The Rome ecoFlight saw the removal and replacement of 1,731 single-use plastic items from onboard service, with a weight reduction of 108kg, saving 60kg CO2 emissions. This follows efforts on the first ecoFlight to Brisbane in 2019, where 43 single-use plastic items were removed from onboard operations, resulting in an annual saving of 17 tonnes of waste from landfill and again in 2020, when the airline operated an ecoFlight to Brussels, removing 2,639 single-use plastic items from the flight, equal to approximately 8.8kg in weight reduction.

Feasible initiatives trialed on the latest ecoFlight will be adapted for standard operations moving forward, contributing to Etihad’s goal to remove 80% of single-use plastics. Based on circular theory efforts, the airline tackled international waste regulations head-on with a recycling initiative to better manage cabin waste.

Strict waste regulations force international airlines to incinerate all contaminated materials, and efforts were made to identify suppliers offering products that will not release harmful emissions in incineration, such as EcoWare bagasse pots, which are compostable and made from plants. The flight produced and successfully diverted 8.1kg of recyclable material from the landfill.

The ecoFlight showcased Al Ain Water’s sustainable plant-based water bottles onboard. It also featured Abu Dhabi-based startup ‘The Concept’s sustainable inflight meal trays made from used water bottles and BambuuBrush, for their highly sustainable up-cycled Bamboo Toothbrush.

 (Source: News Etihad)