Etihad To the Future

Etihad Airways

With an eye on the times, Etihad focuses on sustainability alongside health, safety and passenger wellbeing.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS has been, since its inception, an industry leader, with its eye ever to the future and the comfort and experience of its passengers. Its recent collaboration with Boeing, NASA, and Safran Landing System and its COVID-19 testing protocols exemplify the spirit and focus of the airline.

In August, Etihad’s new 787-10 Dreamliner was decked out with special equipment to enhance safety and help reduce C02 emissions and noise as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program. The series of test flights gathered detailed information about acoustics from some 1,200 microphones attached to the aircraft and ground. Most community complaints regarding noise come from approaching aircraft, with one-quarter of the sound coming from the landing gear. Etihad, NASA, and Boeing hope the test flights will help improve noise prediction capabilities, inform future quiet aircraft designs and allow pilots to reduce noise. These flights also use Safran Landing System’s landing gear designed to be quieter.

Two test flights allowed for communication between pilots, air traffic control and Etihad’s operations center, allowing them to share digital information and use NASA’s tailored arrival management system. From there, all involved parties are looking to ways to enhance safety by reducing workload and radio frequency congestion; optimize routing efficiency to lower fuel use, emissions and noise; and support the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System.

After the flights, flown on a 50/50 blend of sustainable fuel and traditional jet fuel, Etihad received the aircraft in late September.

Additionally, as part of the Boeing Confident Travel Initiative, Etihad tested a handheld UV light wand to determine its effectiveness in disinfecting surfaces, especially important with the current COVID-19 crisis.

Etihad has been leading the industry with its own Etihad Wellness Sanitation & Safety Program, a comprehensive initiative that has completely transformed the travel experience. As part of the program, Etihad introduced an industry first with the creation of Wellness Ambassadors that provide essential travel health information and care on the ground and inflight. Additionally, through a collaboration with Sitata, a Canadian travel risk management company, Etihad has an interactive travel map on the airline’s website so guests can view the COVID-19 situation in each destination in the airline’s network and plan accordingly.

To further combat the spread of COVID-19, through Dec. 31, Etihad is including PCR tests with each air ticket booked by customers departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport (excluding flights to China) through Dec. 31. Ticketed passengers can book a visit at a Life Medical Diagnostic Center in the United Arab Emirates between 48 and 96 hours before departure. First- and Business-Class passengers have the option to receive the test at home. Passengers boarding in other destinations are also required to have a PCR within 96 hours of their departure. Providing even more peace of mind for customers, tickets for travel through Dec. 31 will also include COVID-19 Global Wellness Insurance so that guests diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip won’t have to worry about medical expenses or quarantine costs when flying with Etihad.

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