UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has signed a historical Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with World Energy, a carbon-net-zero solutions provider, to establish a long-term strategic partnership to decarbonise flights through in-sector emissions reductions.
According to Etihad, it is the first commercial carrier to participate in World Energy’s recently launched service for airline and corporate climate leaders taking real action to achieve net-zero goals. “We are making long-term commitments with leaders to decarbonise transport,” said Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy.
“Our work with Etihad is strategic and rooted in purpose. It will drive innovation and accountability so we can scale sustainable fuels and make a real and impactful reduction toward effectively decarbonising aviation.”
The announcement follows the two companies powering the first net-zero flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) via a Book & Claim system. Accomplished by displacing approximately 26,000 gallons of petroleum-based jet fuel through the use of net-zero equivalent gallons of World Energy’s SAF at Los Angeles International Airport, this resulted in the elimination of approximately 250 metric tons of carbon related to Etihad’s regular routing flight from Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi during COP27.
Feasible path to net-zero
Mariam Alqubaisi, Head of Sustainability & Business Excellence, Etihad Airways commented: “Our NetZero flight proved Book & Claim is the only feasible path to net-zero commercial aviation using current technology and is the transition framework required until the supply of sustainable aviation fuel reaches its maturity and availability. Net-zero commercial aviation is possible, but we have to be honest as an industry and say there are significant logistical challenges to using SAF at present.
“We are committed to using actual SAF on our flights from the U.S. and across the world when we can secure a sustainable and efficient supply at the airports we serve.”
The Etihad and World Energy Book & Claim MOU establishes a pending agreement between the two companies, which is the first-of-its-kind, long-term contract to supply an airline with the environmental attributes associated with SAF produced in Los Angeles, California. World Energy will deliver the physical SAF to Los Angeles International Airport, which will displace conventional fossil fuel required by aircraft flying out of the airport. Etihad will receive the emission reductions in the form of SAF certificates (SAFc) once World Energy blends the SAF and it achieves “drop-in” ASTM certification and will then be able to include their customers on the certificates. This will allow those customers to mitigate the emissions related to business flights.