ABU DHABI 26 January 2020: Etihad Airways’ newest aircraft, a specially themed Boeing 787 Dreamliner, touched down in Abu Dhabi yesterday after a delivery flight from Boeing’s assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The aircraft, embellished with a striking faceted colour scheme, is the flagship of the Etihad Greenliner Programme. This is a collaboration between the UAE’s national airline and Boeing, which along with other industry partners, including the engine manufacturer GE Aviation, will use Etihad’s entire 787 fleet to assess measures that boost aircraft efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Registered A6-BMH, the aircraft is the 38th Dreamliner in Etihad’s next-generation, fuel-efficient fleet, and will enter commercial service next week.
Sustainable aviation fuel comprised approximately 30 per cent of the total blend on yesterday’s flight, one of the largest volumes used on a Boeing 787 delivery flight. In previous tests this mix, refined from agricultural waste, has emitted approximately 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than standard jet fuel, over its total life cycle.
Upon its arrival, the aircraft was met by H.H Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of the Aviation Sector Development Committee in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, Dr Ahmed Al Shoaibi, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Services, Khalifa University, Ahsen Rajput, Director International Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Ram Mulik, Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa, GE Aviation.
Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The Boeing 787 is the backbone of our airline’s fleet, and this programme is a key element of the company’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and throughout our global network. We have publicly set the target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050, and a halving of our 2019 net emission levels by 2035.”
Three efficiency initiatives
Boeing engineers also used the flight to assess three efficiency initiatives, which could further reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the 787 Dreamliner family, which is already 20 to 25 per cent more efficient than similar-size aircraft they replace.
The first en-route research initiative, FliteDeck Advisor, is an application developed by Boeing to use data from the aircraft to determine flight efficiency at various stages of the journey. This data provides pilots with real-time information to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
The second initiative, Nautical Air Mileage Evaluation, assesses fuel mileage and consumption based on the aircraft’s performance parameters and fuel flow at any given time. This was the first test of this initiative on a 787 using sustainable aviation fuels.
The third assessment on this flight was a continuous descent into Abu Dhabi airport, in which the aircraft followed a consistent curved path rather than a standard multi-step approach. This approach reduces fuel use, aircraft noise and CO2 emissions, and is a measure the airline is keen to introduce regularly when conditions allow.
The delivery flight from Boeing’s assembly plant in Charleston to Abu Dhabi was operated by Captain Sulaiman Yaqoobi, Vice President Flight Operations, Captain Driss Moussaoui, who piloted the very first Etihad flight when the airline was launched in 2003, along with Captain Abdullah Saleh and First Officer Mohamed Al Hosani. The aircraft delivery team comprised a number of Emirati pilots and engineers who collectively represent the airline’s commitment to the development of UAE nationals and the growth of the country’s aviation industry.