Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has committed to zero out its carbon emissions by 2050, and to halve its 2019 net emission levels by 2035. The company’s environmental targets will be achieved via a combination of internal initiatives, partnerships with industry players, and the adoption of a holistic plan of relevant carbon offsets, that is to be formulated in line with the UAE and the markets served by the airline, a statement said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that the number of passenger journeys will more than double within two decades, from 4.5 billion in 2019 to approximately nine billion by the late 2030s.
Meanwhile, the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) noted that international aviation will experience an compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8 per cent to 2050, also predicting that traffic will reach 16.5 billion passenger kilometres, the statement said.
“Etihad Aviation Group, together with its partners, is taking an active role in reducing the impact of aviation on the environment through initiatives ranging from optimised fuel management to sustainable financing practices,” said group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas.
The air transport industry, as a whole, from airlines and suppliers to airspace providers, is responsible for reducing the aviation industry’s emissions, and solutions to tackle such issues need to be holistic and collaborative, Douglas added.
Recent sustainability initiatives taken by the Etihad Aviation Group include:
♣ Perennial induction of the latest-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft, including additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and plans for three new types – the Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-9, and Airbus A321neo
♣ Initiation of the Etihad Greenliner programme, in which the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft will be used during normal scheduled flights as ‘test beds’ for sustainable products/practices
♣ Being the first airline to secure commercial funding contingent on compliance with sustainable development goals of the United Nations
♣ In partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Etihad secured 150m euros to help finance the development of an ‘eco residence’ for cabin crew living in the capital
♣ Commitment to dwindle single use plastics by 80 per cent by 2022
♣ Partnering to develop sustainable aviation fuels, and the commitment to back another sustainable jet fuel developed from municipal waste in Abu Dhabi
In November 2019, Etihad Airways had also announced its partnership with Boeing to test a new “sustainable” flight using a 787 Dreamliner.