Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, was formed in 2003 and quickly went on to become one of the world’s leading airlines. Etihad sees tackling the climate crisis as the most important issue of our time, and through strategic partnerships with major global aviation brands and OEMs, Etihad is relentless in its pursuit of industry decarbonization.
The post-pandemic era has witnessed a profound shift in our attitude towards travelling. The sector is highly sensitive towards the impact of the Omicron variant. With many governments and health bodies constantly updating measures and guidelines, one thing has remained constant: air travel has completely changed. From prioritizing health and wellness, to making conscious sustainability efforts, the future of air travel is here:
Etihad has been a pioneer to launch new and effective ways of elevating its consumer’s travel journey. Here are top features which distinguish Etihad as an archetype carrier transforming the future of commercial air travel:
Sustainable jet fuel, Etihad Greenliner and Sustainable50 Programme – Exploring the use of sustainable aviation fuel has been at the core of Etihad’s business for the last decade with the airline as a key partner of Abu Dhabi’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, along with Boeing, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Under its Greenliner programme, Etihad partnered with industry leaders Boeing, NASA and Safran on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme. As part of its newest programme with Airbus, Etihad introduced A350 into its fleet to further reduce carbon emission. Under its Greenliner Sustainability program, over the past two years, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Etihad has introduced several CO2 reduction initiatives.
The paradigm shift to greener skies – Etihad announced an ambitious target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050, with an additional goal of halving 2019 net emission levels by 2035. Etihad further practices plastic-free flying by providing their guests with sustainable and recyclable cutlery and plant-based water bottles and pledges to reduce single-use plastics by 80%.
Digital Innovation – Partnering with Elenium Automation, Etihad was the first airline to trial an innovative airport technology to help identify medically at-risk travellers. These contactless devices also monitored the temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate of any person using an airport touchpoint. Etihad has also updated its mobile application, allowing guests to manage their journey with even greater ease. The relaunched mobile app lets guests manage their details, book flights with voice search and enroll in the airline’s loyalty programme. Uber and Google Maps are now also integrated into the app to direct travellers to and around the airport.
Flexible travel – Etihad introduced flexible travel which permits the passengers to make modifications to their travel plans. The guests are entitled to more freedom and flexibility which lets them book with peace of mind. There’s no change fee to rebook and the guest would have to pay only the difference. Etihad also introduced Etihad Credit, giving its guests the freedom to delay their travel plans by permitting a free cancellation and offering the original value of their booking to be used as credit towards their next trip.
Health and Wellness – Etihad ensures guests safety and wellness through their Wellness Ambassadors. This 24/7 dedicated, multi-lingual team offers reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details of the health and sanitization measures being implemented throughout their journey. They assist with safety and wellness in-flight as well as on-ground at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Etihad Guest Miles – Etihad Guest, the loyalty program of Etihad Airways, has launched a series of sustainable initiatives to reward members for making green choices and providing options to reduce their carbon footprint. Conscious choices, the new range of sustainable initiatives, aims to assist the airlines ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Etihad has also recently introduced Etihad World Pass which enables frequent flyers to travel with more flexibility. Etihad WorldPass is available for travel between the UAE and select destinations including the GCC, India, Pakistan, UK and Ireland. Guests can choose between booking a subscription to a single destination or a cluster, for example, all three Etihad destinations in Saudi Arabia. Frequent flyers and corporate travellers will benefit from being able to pre-book between 6 to 40 flights to use in a 12-month period at preferential rates, available in both Business and Economy classes.
Enhanced Guest Experiences: Etihad Airways is always taking extra steps to make sure that the guest and the guest’s family feel safe and sound when they travel. Keeping in mind the current scenario, guests can stretch out with extra legroom in Economy space or keep an entire row to themselves with economy neighbour- Free. Etihad’s Economy Smart seats on long-haul flights have a unique headrest, adjustable back support and generous legroom.
Etihad has also expanded its business with the launch of charter and special flight services. Fully customisable, business and leisure guests can choose from a variety of flight options including a dedicated passenger service, cargo only flight or a combined passenger and cargo package. These charter flights provide a convenient alternative to travel, providing customers with the flexibility to choose the departure time, destination, and routing.
USCBP facilities- The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 (T3) in Abu Dhabi Airport is a purpose-built facility that allows US bound passengers to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi, before they depart. It is the only CBP facility in the Middle East, and one of only a few outside of North America. Etihad, the national airline of the UAE offers guests to clear customs and immigrations for the US at Abu Dhabi airport.
With the general sentiment currently remaining around fear and uncertainty, people’s needs have evolved and so has the future of commercial air travel.