Etihad Airways has remained dedicated to consistently improving the fuel efficiency of its fleet, and has witnessed substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
The airline’s fuel efficiency team has taken diverse initiatives across all operational functions of the business, resulting in the saving of over 60,000 tonnes of fuel.
The reduction indicated a 2.5 per cent improvement during 2016, amounting to an estimated 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide savings, an equivalent of 1,200 flights between Abu Dhabi and London.
The airline is investigating several key initiatives to optimise efficiency, both with the aircraft and through external cooperation with aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.
“Fuel optimisation is a top agenda item for any successful and sustainable airline, with Etihad Airways [being] no exception,” remarked chief operations officer, Etihad Airways, Richard Hill. “There have been some encouraging results during 2016 and I’m delighted to see so many of our pilots fully engaged with the programme, as this has ensured additional learning opportunities and the identification of new measures that can deliver greater fuel savings in the years ahead. It’s a vital part of our sustainability efforts and we will continue to look for ways to improve our performance.”
Many factors determine fuel efficiency, including on-board weight. Therefore, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has made an effort to minimise the weight of on-board items with a ‘weight out’ programme, resulting in the removal or replacement of on-board items. This has reportedly reduced fuel burn by 1,000 tonnes per annum.
Weather is another key contributor to fuel efficiency, which the airline is combating with new technology such as the ‘Boeing Wind Uplink’ scheme, giving flight crews detailed information on weather patterns in order to plan for optimum fuel performance of their aircraft throughout the flight.
Airport staff is also contributing to ensure that ground power is primarily used, instead of the auxiliary power unit when aircraft are on the ground.
Etihad Airways’ successful fuel efficiency improvements have exceeded the emissions reduction goal that the industry has set itself, a current 1.5 per cent efficiency improvement across aviation.
With this achievement, Etihad Airways is contributing to carbon neutral growth targets and the ultimate long term goal — for emissions to reach 50 per cent of 2005 levels by 2050.