Air Freight News

Boeing and Etihad Airways expand sustainability alliance

Nov 15, 2021
  • Industry-first strategic partnership focused on Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner fleet
  • Building on collaboration to improve sustainability through navigation, flight operations and airframe technologies

Boeing and Etihad Airways announced they will expand the companies’ deep collaboration towards environmental goals. Centered on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) furthers Boeing and Etihad’s mutual commitment – initially set through a 2019 sustainability partnership – to develop sustainable flight operations across Etihad’s global network.

Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, and Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, after signing an agreement expanding the companies’ partnership towards sustainable aviation for the Abu Dhabi-based airline and wider industry. (Boeing Photo)
Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, and Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, after signing an agreement expanding the companies’ partnership towards sustainable aviation for the Abu Dhabi-based airline and wider industry. (Boeing Photo)

Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, and Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, after signing an agreement expanding the companies’ partnership towards sustainable aviation for the Abu Dhabi-based airline and wider industry. (Boeing Photo)

The new agreement will focus on enhancing the efficiency of navigation and flight operations, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce Etihad’s fuel use and emissions. In addition, company leaders said their partnership provides an opportunity to validate concepts that could be scaled up to benefit the broader aviation industry.

“Sustainability is a core principle at Etihad, and we believe our continued collaboration with Boeing will drive further innovation in this critical area for the airline and our industry,” said Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group. “With the highly efficient 787 Dreamliner in our fleet, Etihad has considerably reduced its overall carbon emissions, and our expanded sustainability alliance with Boeing will drive further innovations.”

Etihad is the largest 787 operator in the Middle East, benefiting from the Dreamliner family’s superior efficiency. The agreement also includes collaboration to develop tools for flight planning, arrival and departure procedures, en-route flight optimization and community noise reduction.

“Partnership is critically important to decarbonize our industry, and we are honored to work side-by-side with Etihad to advance sustainable aviation,” said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer. “Our flight test programs and other joint efforts have clearly demonstrated the value of collaboration by our companies and our industry.”

To support this drive for operational efficiency, Boeing will provide multiple services for the Etihad’s 787 fleet including charting and Electronic Flight Bag navigational tools that provide pilots with real-time advisories to adjust course, altitude and speed to optimize fuel use and routing. Also, the two companies will collaborate on ways to reduce emissions at Etihad’s facilities, further the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and increase sustainable financing.

In 2020, as part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program, an Etihad 787-10 tested new technologies to reduce in-flight noise and emissions. In partnership with NASA, the program conducted the most comprehensive aero-acoustic research ever on a commercial airplane.

Boeing also partners with Etihad to test sustainable practices on the Abu Dhabi airline’s commercial flights. Last month, Etihad operated its most sustainable flight ever with a 787-10, utilizing learnings and efficiencies developed over the past two years to reduce carbon emissions in absolute terms compared to previous flights. Boeing provided navigation and flight tools to help avoid weather and turbulence, and worked with other industry partners to optimize the departure, arrival and taxi to reduce fuel use throughout the flight.

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