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Etihad Airways Partners with Industry Leaders, Strengthens Sustainability Program 

Etihad’s 787 Greenliner sitting on the ramp prior to the 2021 Dubai Airshow (Photo: Etihad)

Etihad Airways — The United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier — signed multiple partnerships and collaboration agreements during one of the world’s most popular gatherings of aviation industry leaders, the 2021 Dubai Airshow. These agreements include manufacturers, suppliers and stakeholders all looking to help strengthen Etihad’s sustainability program by reducing Co2 emissions, making it a multi-organizational partnership in the industry.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline is expanding on its existing program and will include partnerships with well-known companies such as Boeing, Airbus, General Electric and Rolls Royce. A primary focus of this expansion is to enhance navigation and flight operations efficiency, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce fuel use and emissions. In addition, the airline also combined forces with Lufthansa Technik, Satavia, and Tadweer or Abu Dhabi Waste Management. 

The partnership will help the carrier move closer to its existing sustainability goals. Some of these objectives include a 20 percent reduction in emissions intensity in its passenger fleet by 2025, a reduction of its 2019 emissions by 50 percent by 2035 and reaching the industry’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of the Etihad Aviation Group said, “There’s no silver bullet for this one, no obvious single act that will provide a solution. It’s going to require the combination and the sum of many different organizations and governments working together for small, incremental improvements,” in regards to the partnership in a speech at the 2021 Dubai Airshow.

Executives within these major companies commented on the importance that these partnerships harbor, as it fosters innovation and development of many technologies. 

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer, Stan Deal said, “Partnership is critically important to decarbonize our industry, and we are honoured to work side-by-side with Etihad to advance sustainable aviation.” 

John Slattery, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation — who has a focus on propulsion ad exploring new opportunities — to test new technologies and lower emissions said, “Decarbonization is a challenge that the entire aviation industry faces. The only way that we can address it is with agreements like this MOU with Etihad. Through this agreement, GE will be able to test innovative technologies that can help reduce emissions as well as enhance the time on wing of our GEnx engine, which may benefit Etihad and all our airline customers.”

Chris Cholerton, President of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, the provider of Etihad’s XWB engines powering their future A350 fleet said: “Our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 can only be achieved by working collaboratively with our valued customers and stakeholders. Our long-standing relationship with Etihad Airways provides an excellent foundation to build innovative solutions that can meet the needs of new trends in aviation as we embark on the same journey towards an increasingly sustainable industry.”

Existing Focus On Sustainability

The primary focus of Etihad’s sustainability program encompasses the carrier’s fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft powered by GE’s GEnx engines in their “Greenliner” program. This program tests new green technologies, including the use of sustainable alternative fuels (SAFs) and eco-friendly in-flight products on their Dreamliner fleet. 

The airline will now complement the existing “Greenliner” program by incorporating a similar one based around their new Airbus A350’s utilizing Rolls Royce XWB engines. At the Dubai Airshow, Etihad launched its first A350, carrying a “UAE50” livery to recognize the anniversary of the federation of the UAE and the commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The partnerships made at the Dubai Airshow are a strong reflection of Etihad’s commitment to sustainability as a company within this industry. By engaging in new partnerships throughout all sectors of the aviation supply chain, it will provide access to technology development and maturation projects leading to a greener future.

Chase Hagl


  • Chase Hagl

    Chase Hagl grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho. His love and passion for Aviation landed him in Orem, Utah where he obtained a B.S. in Aviation Management with a minor in Business Management from Utah Valley University. Chase currently works as a flight attendant in Charleston, SC and is also the primary Inflight ASAP ERC representative for startup airline, Breeze Airways. His experience in the aviation industry spans back four years, working in areas including agriculture application, customer service, maintenance, and flight ops. In his free time, Chase enjoys road biking, astronomy, and flying.

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