Etihad Plans Its Most Sustainable Boeing 787 Flight To Date

Etihad is planning a special flight to celebrate two years of its Greenliner sustainability program. On October 23rd, EY20 from London to Abu Dhabi will operate, but not a typical Etihad flight. Instead, the airline will trial a range of sustainable initiatives, and you’re invited to be onboard.

Etihad Airways is planning to operate its most sustainable flight to date. Photo: Etihad Airways

Airlines are currently putting a significant focus on sustainability. Just yesterday, Lufthansa revealed plans to start using fuel made out of thin air, while the aviation industry as a whole just committed to net-carbon-zero flight operations by 2050. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is busy with its Greenliner program as part of its own sustainability effort.

A new sustainability flight

A couple of weeks ago, British Airways operated a sustainability-focused Airbus A320neo flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow. Now, Ethiad is following with a slightly longer route and a slightly bigger aircraft. On October 23rd, the airline’s EY20 service from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi will become the latest flight in the Greenliner program.

Over the past two years, the airline has been fine-tuning initiatives to make flights more sustainable, from reducing emissions to busting single-use plastic waste. All of the best initiatives will be combined later this month when the aircraft takes flight.

Etihad Airways, London Heathrow, Sustainable Flight
Tickets for the flight are on sale now. Photo: Etihad Booking Engine

Before the flight, Etihad will ensure that the aircraft is washed. This will remove dirt with could affect optimal aerodynamic performance. Computers will optimize the route to avoid contrails. Finally, guests will be encouraged to check in as little weight as possible. After all, less weight uses less fuel. On this theme, the airline will only load what it needs for the flight, so water will be kept to a minimum.

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The airline’s greenliner aircraft will use a 38% blend of sustainable aviation fuels to help to cut the net emissions of the flight, while aircraft equipment will calculate the most efficient climb and descent profiles. The aircraft will taxi using the power of just one engine, with an optimized route to reduce emissions further. Passengers will be served food from sustainable sources. They will also receive a personal water bottle, and a tree will be planted in their name.

A 72% CO2 saving

In total, Ethiad expects a net-co2 saving of 72% compared to a typical Boeing 787 flight on the route from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. However, the exact amount will only be available after the flight has flown.

Etihad is selling tickets on the flight for those keen to fly on the sustainable jet, alongside those who just need to get to Abu Dhabi. At the time of writing, economy class tickets were available from £741.87 ($1,010.61). Meanwhile, business class tickets start at £3,754.77 ($5,120.76). Cheaper business class tickets are available on the airline’s morning flight.

Commenting on the planned flight, Etihad’s CEO, Tony Douglas, said,

“The ambition and intent of this flight stands it apart from anything we’ve ever done previously. It’s no understatement to say this will be our most sustainable flight to date, as well as an accurate look at what the future of flying will look like.”

Would you want to fly on Etihad’s most sustainable flight to date? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!