Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has collaborated with World Energy, a carbon-net-zero solutions provider, to operate the first “NetZero” flight powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Book & Claim system, delivering delegates to COP27 with zero net emissions.
The airline stated that “it will operate its Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi service, routed via COP27 venue Sharm-El-Sheik to demonstrate the only feasible path to net-zero commercial aviation using current technology while showcasing the challenges and opportunities of SAF.”
Enabling delegates to travel 10,000km emission-free to COP27, Etihad will buy or book SAF for the flight provided by fueling partner World Energy, as per the statement.
“Aviation is how the world connects but we are on a collision course as flying people and goods is one of the most carbon-intensive things humans do. Aviation is on an unsustainable trajectory as it is projected to continue to account for an ever-greater share of global carbon emissions. But there is a way off this course. The course correction will come from the fuel tank rather than the cockpit. Together, we can efficiently change the fuel we fly on so we can change the impact of flying. We are grateful to corporate leaders like Etihad who are paving the way to help make net-zero aviation a reality.”
Ms. Mariam Alqubaisi, Head of Sustainability and Business Excellence, at Etihad Airways, said that, “This initiative is about proving net-zero commercial aviation is possible and facing up to the significant logistical challenges the industry faces to turn the possible into the routine. Etihad endeavors to make good on its rigorous commitment towards sustainable aviation coupled with our commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and halving our net emission levels by 2035.”
“Through these programs, we have run a series of ecoFlights over the past two years to test and validate several concepts, and we have made refining and implementing sustainability initiatives an intrinsic part of our day-to-day operation,” Ms. Alqubaisi added.
The NetZero flight will be the latest in a series of “EcoFlight” tests since Etihad launched its Greenliner program in 2020.