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Etihad Partners With GE Aviation on Engine Cleaning System

An Etihad Airways 787-9, (Photo: Etihad Airways)

Etihad has announced today that it has partnered with GE Aviation to launch the 360 Foam Wash to optimize engine performance on its Boeing 777 and 787 fleets.

The airline is the first to receive a technical license for the 360 Foam Wash for use on its GE90 engines, which are on the airline’s 777 fleet. Etihad is also the first airline to receive multiple licenses for different engine types, after Qatar Airways received one for its GEnx-1b engines in 2019, having also received the GEnx-1b license. The licenses allow the airlines to perform in-house foam washing.

The patented 360 Foam Wash is an alternative to generic water washing and restores engine performance, leading to reductions in fuel consumption. Etihad reports that this will remove over 7,000 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide in 2021 alone from both GE90 and GEnx fleets compared to using the traditional water wash.

Foam washing involves injecting a special solution that removes dust and dirt particles from engines. The system can be used in both maintenance hangars and outdoors as it is self-contained.

Paul Kear, Etihad’s Senior Vice President Technical, said in an airline press release: “Our partnership with GE through the Etihad Greenliner program is a prime example of industry collaboration that will have a significant impact on Etihad’s efficiencies and provide a case study for the broader industry.

“Through 2021 alone, we expect to realize significant fuel savings and a reduction of more than 7,000 metric tonnes of CO2 for the combined GEnx-1B and GE90 engine fleets, compared to water wash methods. This is just one example of how Etihad and GE can work together to enhance fuel efficiency of the engines that power the backbone of our fleet,” continued Kear.

During trials of the foam wash solution with GE90 and GEnx-1b engines, Etihad improved engine performance as the solution reduced deposit build-up in engines, lowered exhaust temperatures and improved engine compressor efficiency. Etihad reports that these improvements led to reduced fuel consumption and a longer on-wing life for engines.

Jean Lydon-Rodgers, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation’s After Market Strategic Solutions, said: “GE Aviation shares a commitment to develop innovative solutions in aircraft engine maintenance with the team at Etihad Airways.

“We are learning more about how our engines operate and how they respond in hot and harsh environments than ever before, and our longstanding relationship with Etihad has been integral to that process. The research that has gone into producing GE’s 360 Foam Wash is a shining example of that,” added Lydon-Rodgers.

GE Aviation also worked with the airline on its Greenliner program to develop decarbonization technologies. The Greenliner program, which was announced at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, enables Etihad to collaborate with industry leaders to reduce aircraft carbon emissions. The program is fronted by a green-themed Boeing 787 and works with Boeing.

“Etihad’s long-term commitment to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 can only be achieved by working with partners across the industry to harness innovation and develop new technologies that will provide real, incremental benefits with a measurable impact on emissions. As we look towards the rest of 2021, there is potential to expand the scope of collaboration for our shared sustainability objectives,” added Kear.

Connor Sadler
Latest posts by Connor Sadler (see all)


  • Connor Sadler

    Connor has been in love with flying since the first time he boarded a plane when he was 5 years old. He loves all things aviation, and he hopes to make that his full time career in the future.

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