United Arab Emirates (UAE) airline giant Etihad Airways this year launched a new plane with a special livery, marking its commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
The Airbus A350-1000, registration A6-XWB, became the first A350 to be operated by a UAE airline, with a further four due to be added to the Etihad fleet before the end of the year.
The new plane, which was given the name Sustainability50, enjoyed an inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris in late March, complete with the livery showcasing and celebrating Etihad’s and the UAE’s long-term green goals.
Formed as a dedicated partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainability50 programme will see Etihad's A350s used as flying testbeds of new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. This, Etihad said, will build on Etihad's similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing B787 aircraft type.
“The Airbus A350 is an absolutely incredible aircraft, and we are proud to introduce it into the Etihad Airways network,” Etihad group chief executive Tony Douglas said. “Our teams have worked closely together to craft a product and travel proposition that will ensure every journey with Etihad is a choice well made – both for our guests and for the planet.
“With highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, the A350 will support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests.”
Taking a closer look at the livery itself, the colourful design focuses primarily on the rear of the plane, featuring golds, blacks, greys and whites throughout. The centrepiece of the design is a large ‘50’ to reflect the Sustainability50 name, with colourful strikes passing through the centre of the number.
“We designed our sustainability programme as a vehicle for collaboration, and our strategic partnership with Airbus allows us to harness the sustainability credentials of the A350 through the Sustainability50 programme, as we work towards our joint objectives to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment,” Douglas said.
Mikail Houari, president of Airbus Africa and Middle East, added: “The A350-1000 is setting new standards of air travel, offering unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. This marks the start of a promising new chapter for the UAE’s aviation sector, led by innovation and a commitment to sustainability.
“We look forward to many more years of partnership and working together to support Etihad Airways expand its network through our most technologically advanced and efficient aircraft.”
Etihad Airways began life in 2003 and its popularity has absolutely rocketed over the years, with the airline now established as one of the most influential in the world. At the time of writing, the airline has a fleet of 89 aircraft and flies to some 65 destinations around the globe, employing more than 13,500 people.