Etihad’s fuel saving initiatives
Etihad Airways successfully eliminated around 195,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, thanks to a wide range of fuel-saving initiatives across its network.
Following a number of improvements aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies, Etihad was able to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by its aircraft by over 62,000 tonnes. The result represents a 3.3 per cent improvement from the year before, and is the equivalent of 850 flights between Abu Dhabi and London.
For instance, flight plan adjustments across the network reduced approximately 900 hours of flying time, leading to a saving of 5,400 tonnes of fuel and eliminating approximately 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Last year, Etihad Airways also retired several older aircraft in favour of the Boeing 787, one of the most fuel efficient commercial aircraft in operation due to its lightweight composite structure. Etihad currently operates 19 Boeing 787s in its 115-strong fleet of passenger and cargo aircraft, which is one of the youngest in the skies at an average age of 5.4 years.
Etihad also strengthened its collaboration with air traffic control providers at many of the major airports to which it operates, in particular in Abu Dhabi, in order to improve the efficiency of many of the descent and approach profiles. The most fuel efficient descent manoeuvre is known as a ‘continuous descent approach’, whereby the aircraft reduces height gradually, rather than in a stepped manner. Thanks to an increase in the number of continuous decent approaches in 2017, a total of 980 tonnes of fuel was saved over the course of the year.
By combining key fuel saving projects with operational improvements, the efficiency per passenger kilometre improved by as much as 36 per cent on some of Etihad’s routes.