Etihad Airways operates 42 eco-flights over five days

United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad Airways has successfully performed the world’s most intensive sustainable flight testing programme.

The airline operated 42 flights over a five-day period to test operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that will reduce carbon emissions.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We believe this is the most intensive sustainability flight testing programme ever conducted, the results of which will contribute to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions and environmental impact as the learnings are implemented into standard airline operations across the industry.

“Some of the technologies and operational efficiencies we have tested can be implemented today and we’re well in the process of putting these innovations into standard operational procedures, which we hope to see replicated across the industry, while some technologies are still in their infancy and we’ll continue to work with our partners to test and develop these for future use.

“However, there are a number of impactful solutions which are ready to go, but require an industry and regulatory response to become practical, that the industry needs to raise to the challenge for.”

The flight programme also included 22 contrail prevention flights over the course of three days.

Etihad’s newest aircraft, its “Sustainable50” A350-1000, officially became the first A350 to operate as an EcoFlight.

Technology and processes tested also included optimised flight paths, variable speed during cruise to save fuel, reduced flaps for landing, reduced engine taxi and turning cabin lights off for one minute during flight – a symbolic act for Earth Day happening across the world from 20:30 to 21:30.

Etihad works on the Greenliner and Sustainable50 programmes in partnership with Boeing, Airbus, GE and Rolls-Royce.

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