Etihad Airways and World Energy partner to demonstrate the future of Net-Zero aviation

Etihad signs historical net-zero aviation MoU with World Energy

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Etihad Airways and World Energy partner to demonstrate the future of Net-Zero aviation

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.

Unum_Business Class seats_Feb 2022

Unum Aircraft Seating joins Green Cabin Alliance

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Unum_Business Class seats_Feb 2022

Aircraft business class seating manufacturer Unum Aircraft Seating is joining the Green Cabin Alliance as its first seating manufacturer member.

The Green Cabin Alliance strives to decarbonise the industry by bringing together like-minded organisations involved in the design, manufacture, usage and disposal of parts and products for aircraft cabins and identifying strategies to sustainably operate.

Elina Kopola, Founder of the Green Cabin Alliance commented: “We recognise Unum’s commitment to local, sustainable manufacturing practices, and we believe the company to be an example of best practice in aviation. As an early adopter of the alliance, Unum’s input will be hugely valuable as we shape guidelines and educate the wider industry on the impact decarbonising the aircraft cabin can have on an airline’s overall carbon footprint.”

Chris Brady, CEO of Unum, said: “Aligning ourselves with the Green Cabin Alliance reinforces our sustainable mindset, something we are incredibly serious about. We must all do something to formalise, inform and grow our plans for sustainability and the alliance is pushing forward with all these objectives. Join now!”

As part of the company’s commitment to sustainable practices across the product lifecycle, Unum has developed a part marking system detailing end of life recycling details. The company unveiled its first business class seat, Unum One, in March this year.

Air New Zealand’s 2022 sustainability report released

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Below, Air New Zealand’s Chair Dame Therese Walsh and Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran talk about how the carrier is applying sustainability in its operations. 

As the world reopens, it’s clear the climate crisis is continuing to accelerate rapidly. We are acutely aware that in order to continue to connect Kiwis to the world and the world to us, we must work hard to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We’re seeing travel bounce back much quicker than anticipated and have full flights reconnecting families, friends and colleagues from around the globe. International tourists are once again back on our shores and we’re continuing to share New Zealand’s quality exports with the world. But we’re leaning into the challenges we face as we seek to take genuine action on climate change. As a small island nation, we’re dependent on our connections to the world, and we must find a more sustainable way to fly if we want to ensure our tourism and export industries continue to thrive.

This year, we embarked on our most important journey yet – Flight NZ0. Flight NZ0 is not just a name, it’s a commitment to all New Zealanders that we will find a more sustainable way to connect with the world. It’s a journey to a new era of air travel. One that actively reduces the carbon we emit, until we reach our net zero by 2050 goal. 

To guide us and keep us accountable we have set an interim 2030 science-based carbon reduction target, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. We were the second airline in the world to announce a target with this prestigious validation. We know achieving the target will be hard, but we are committed to taking genuine action on climate change and believe our airline will be more resilient as a result.

The use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is the single biggest decarbonisation lever we can pull. There is no SAF produced in New Zealand, so this year we have partnered with the Government to scope the feasibility of domestic SAF production. We have also received our first delivery of SAF to New Zealand and are aiming for 1 percent of our fuel to be SAF in 2023.

We have also continued to lead in innovation, releasing our Zero Emissions Aircraft Product Requirements Document to the market signaling our ambition to fly zero emissions aircraft in New Zealand. It outlines what we as an airline require to introduce this technology into our fleet, and further solidifies that when the technology is ready, we are too. Along with the learnings from our first year of partnership with Airbus researching the operation of hydrogen powered aircraft, we firmly believe both New Zealand and Air New Zealand are uniquely placed to lead the world in the deployment of zero emissions aircraft.

There’s also been innovations made inflight. We’re introducing more sustainable serviceware on our international flights this October allowing us to reduce both our single-use plastic in our Economy cabin and the weight of our serviceware in the Premium cabins. 

Once more, the Air New Zealand whānau has continued to go above and beyond, restarting the airline at scale, dealing with complex operational challenges, launching and completing a significant capital raise and progressing our ambitious sustainability agenda. The collective mahi, resilience and commitment of our people continues to inspire us and we are immensely proud of all we have achieved.

Our Sustainability Advisory Panel, continue to walk beside the Board and Executive on our journey bringing robust critique, inspiration and a wealth of knowledge and experience.

We are proud of where we are on our journey, but there remains much more to achieve. In November we will welcome our first Chief Sustainability Officer into the Executive team. This appointment will build on the foundation we have already laid and signal a step change for sustainability at Air New Zealand.

As we reflect on 2022 and look to the future, we’d like to extend a thank you to the Air New Zealand team for its unwavering dedication, to our customers for continuing to challenge us and hold us to account, and to the Sustainability Advisory Panel for helping to guide us towards our goals.

The report can be found here.

Etihad Cargo Cargo iQ

IATA and Etihad to trial air cargo CO2 emissions calculator

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Etihad Cargo Cargo iQ

IATA has announced it will be trialling its air cargo CO2 emissions calculation tool with Etihad Airways.

IATA will be working with Etihad Cargo to track data for cargo shipments during a three-month trial and the airline will be sharing data from its flights and advising on various use cases to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, consistency and transparency.

The air freight value chain – shippers, forwarders, investors and regulators – along with consumers are asking for reliable and trustworthy data calculations and IATA says the trial will provide a valuable proof of concept for the cargo component of the IATA CO2 Connect carbon calculator.

The association has been providing IATA CO2 Connect for passenger flights since June this year, with actual fuel burn data of 57 aircraft types representing ~98% of the active global passenger fleet. Calculating the carbon impact of cargo shipments has more challenging parameters, not least of which is the unpredictability of routing at time of booking an air cargo shipment that can often include non-air segments.

In addition, cargo can be carried on both dedicated freighter aircraft and in the bellies of passenger aircraft. To achieve equal levels of accuracy to the passenger calculator, it is essential to collect actual data on fuel burn, load factors and other key variables in trials.

Frederic Leger, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Commercial Products & Services said: “Aviation will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. And our customers—travelers and shippers—need accurate information on the emissions related to their activities to manage their own commitments and reporting obligations. For all these purposes, accurate data is critical. IATA CO2 Connect already provides this for passenger operations. This trial with Etihad will help us in bringing an industry-leading carbon calculator for cargo in the coming months.”

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group commented: “With a strong commitment to innovation, Etihad Cargo actively seeks out and facilitates the development, trials and launch of promising solutions for its customers and partners. The airline’s development with IATA demonstrates the ability and willingness to co create solutions to support

“Etihad Cargo’s journey to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and demonstrates the carrier’s agility in adopting state-of-the-art technology and digital solutions. IATA’s CO2 Connect carbon calculator will be an effective tool in making the transportation of cargo more sustainable and will benefit not only Etihad Cargo’s customers but also the wider air cargo sector in the future.”

LATAM sustainability on board

LATAM eliminates 75% of single-use plastics on board

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LATAM sustainability on board

LATAM has made changes to its economy cabin service, eliminating more than 1,200 tons of single-use plastics.

According to the carrier, this is equivalent to eliminating 36,000 500 ml plastic bottles. The new service features items such as cups, cutlery and trays made with more sustainable materials such as bamboo cutlery, reusable trays, kraft paper packaging for cutlery and certified sustainable paper cups.

LATAM group has implemented this on board its regional and long-haul routes as part of the group’s sustainability strategy which aims to eliminate 100% of single-use plastics used in its operations by 2023.

Paulo Miranda, LATAM Airlines Group Vice President of Customers commented: “Caring for the planet is a challenge for everyone, and a necessary destination for LATAM, which is why we reviewed our services and identified nearly 1,800 tons of single-use plastic on board our international flights. Our teams got involved to redefine all details of our service, making a positive change for our customers, and also for our planet.”

According to LATAM, this new development is in addition to the changes in the carrier’s Premium Business cabin, which include the incorporation of reusable bags to cover rest items, as well as eco travel kits which include a bamboo toothbrush with a sugar cane lid, earplugs with packaging made of kraft paper and socks and eye covers made from recycled plastic.

Recycling measures

The group has also implemented recycling and reuse measures.  LATAM has a programme called Recycle Your Trip on its domestic flights in Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador which involves cabin crew separating plastic and cans on board. In Colombia, this separation takes place on the ground. In addition, the group also has an ongoing uniform reuse programme in Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil together with women entrepreneurs and partner organisations which gives a second life to the carrier’s employee uniforms.

LATAM’s overall sustainability strategy includes goals such as zero waste to landfill by 2027, reducing and offsetting 50% of domestic emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Etihad CL3710 EIS2

Etihad to adopt a mangrove tree for every Economy Space booking

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Etihad CL3710 EIS2

Etihad Airways, which launched its ‘Etihad Forest’ initiative in February 2022 contributing to biodiversity, wildlife and environmental protection through a network of mangrove and other forests being established in Abu Dhabi and around the world, has committed to adopt a mangrove tree on behalf of every guest who books an Economy Space seat. This aims to ensure each of the carrier’s Economy Space seats sold is eventually carbon neutral.

Etihad’s Economy Space offers generous legroom and more space to relax and is available only on Etihad-operated flights. Etihad Guest Platinum members can book an Economy Space seat for free or save 50% as an Etihad Guest Gold member.

The initiative aims to plant 182,000 mangroves trees by the first quarter of 2023 in Abu Dhabi. Following this, the programme aims to plant new forests in international destinations. Etihad says mangroves remove up to four times more carbon dioxide from the air than other tropical forests, helping to fight the effects of climate change such as coral bleaching and coastline degradation, as well as support biodiversity and wildlife as an important habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.

According to Etihad, each mangrove it plants will absorb up to 250kg of CO2 in its lifetime – the same amount that is produced by an eight-hour flight.

Mariam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In addition to our own sustainability ambitions, we made a commitment to helping our guests and partners to travel more sustainably and empower them to make conscious choices. With the latest evolution of our sustainability programme to plant a mangrove on behalf of every guest who books an Economy Space seat, we’re simplifying the process so anyone can travel sustainably.”

“The Etihad Mangrove Forest is a key initiative in our sustainability journey to ensure our responsibility to remove carbon from the atmosphere is progressing. The intent is to create forests on all continents we fly to, and to provide our guests with an engaging opportunity to take part in the solution.”

Every guest who books an Economy Space Seat will receive a confirmation of their gifted mangrove in the Etihad Forest within 10 days of flying and can track, virtually visit and see details of their tree. Passengers also have the option to register their claimed tree so they can easily revisit it at a later day. Through the platform’s app, Etihad guests can “chat” with their chatbot-enabled tree, while also being able to track every tree with satellite maps and access data, including CO2 consumption metrics.

Guests in other cabins can also take part in the Etihad Forest initiative using Etihad Guest Miles in the Reward Shop.

Air New Zealand

Six rare birds transported on board Air New Zealand flight to Motutapu Island

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Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has helped relocate six young tūturuatu shorebirds from Cape Sanctuary in Hawke’s Bay to their new home on Motutapu Island.

The birds are some of the world’s rarest shorebirds with a population of just 250. The native birds are only found in the Chatham Islands and two predator-free islands off the coast of Aotearoa.

The chicks were transported in the aircraft cabin, securely fastened in seats, and touched down in Auckland yesterday morning. Flight attendant Annalise Michie said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of. Every day in my job, I look forward to greeting our wonderful customers – but I got to greet some customers of a different, more feathery kind, and that’s really special. It’s not every day you get to say you played a small part in helping support the amazing work DOC does to protect the country’s unique wildlife.”

New beginnings

Air New Zealand flew the tūturuatu chicks from Hawke’s Bay to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) in partnership with the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC). The carrier says two of the birds were bred at Cape Sanctuary and the other four at the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust in Christchurch, but were taken in by Cape Sanctuary prior to release day.

Air New Zealand’s Acting Head of Sustainability Jenny Sullivan commented: “To be able to help move our precious wildlife around Aotearoa to ensure they thrive for future generations is incredibly special to everyone here at Air New Zealand.”

The DOC and Air New Zealand have partnered in relocating over 4,000 native birds in the past ten years including kiwi, kākāriki and takahe birds. The airline says it has also transported a number of conservation dogs vital in finding and keeping our wildlife safe from predators.

Boeing HQ logo at night

Boeing to represent aviation in global sustainability alliance

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Boeing HQ logo at night

Boeing says it will represent the aviation sector in an alliance established by the US Government and World Economic Forum to accelerate clean technologies and reduce carbon emissions.

As part of its role, Boeing commits to advancing low-carbon technologies and supporting greater commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels. The aircraft manufacturer says scaling up sustainable solutions is critical to the aviation sector’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and the broader goal of holding global temperatures to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.

The coalition, FMC, was created in late 2021 to leverage the purchasing power of major companies to speed up the pace of decarbonizing industrial sectors such as shipping, chemicals and trucking. Boeing, a founding member of the coalition, will serve as the ‘champion’ for the aviation sector.

“We can only maintain the critical climate pathway of 1.5ºC if we jumpstart the market for disruptive zero-carbon technologies and make them as economically competitive as existing carbon-intensive solutions,” said Nancy Gillis, Head of the FMC. “I congratulate Boeing for its new championship role and look forward to working together on driving the need for and accelerating the use of these emerging technologies.”

Boeing will leverage current technologies and increase industry partnerships in expanding sustainable aviation fuel supplies, while shaping strategies for developing new solutions.

“We are honoured to serve as ‘champion’ for our sector and committed to partnering with FMC members and others on scaling SAF and accelerating low-carbon technologies to decarbonize aviation,” said Brian Moran, Boeing Vice President of Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships.

Boeing HQ logo at night

Bonza takes delivery of Boeing 737-8 MAX

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Boeing HQ logo at night

New low-cost carrier Bonza has become the first Australian airline to take delivery of Boeing’s 737-8 MAX.

Bonza welcomed the fuel-efficient 737-8 at its Sunshine Coast base this week, with Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza commenting: “We are beyond excited to welcome our first 737 MAX to Sunshine Coast Airport and with so much buzz around the country for Bonza, we hope today is also exciting for the communities we’ll be flying to.

“Our teams have been working hard behind the scenes to reach this significant milestone and we cannot wait to launch operations in the near future. The efficiency, reliability and overall capability of the 737 MAX will enable us to provide our customers with low-cost flights and the highest level of comfort onboard.”

The aircraft will enable Bonza to optimise its domestic operations, and Boeing says it will reduce fuel use and carbon emissions by 20%. “This is a tremendous milestone for Bonza and Boeing as the airline joins many operators around the world who have launched service with the 737 MAX,” said Christy Reese, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Bonza has created a new business model to create new markets in Australia’s dynamic commercial aviation market. We are confident that the fuel-efficient 737-8 airplanes will enable the airline to provide their passengers with a comfortable flying experience and a more sustainable option to travel throughout the country.”

Air New Zealand announces science-based emissions reduction target

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Air New Zealand is progressing on its Flight NZ0 journey by setting an ambitious science-based target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

The flag carrier of New Zealand says it interim target is validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and requires a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.

Science-based targets validated by the SBTi show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Setting a science-based target allows businesses to set a robust and credible carbon reduction target that is independently assessed to ensure it aligns with the latest climate science.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer David Morgan commented: “This interim target will drive activity today and set the airline up for success in achieving its net zero 2050 target. Getting the target validated by the SBTi was a rigorous process and something we are incredibly proud to have achieved. Our GHG emissions were reviewed in detail by the SBTi to ensure we had an accurate emissions baseline and science-based target set.

“This target makes us accountable today. Implementing our decarbonisation roadmap will be critical to achieving this target – with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), continued fleet renewal, operational efficiency, and zero emissions aircraft technologies all playing a role.

Morgan says the airline’s key focus areas are SAF and the adoption of zero emissions aircraft technologies as they have the potential to reduce the carrier’s emissions by approximately 70% by 2050. “We already have several initiatives in the works including a partnership with the Government to scope the feasibility of a SAF production plant in New Zealand and our world-leading Product Requirements Document currently in market to accelerate the development of hydrogen, electric, and hybrid aircraft. These are the initiatives that will drive real change in reducing our emissions and we’re incredibly focused on delivering them as quickly as possible.”