Etihad unveils new Airbus A350 aircraft

Etihad unveils new Airbus A350 aircraft

The aircraft operates with a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, unveiled its new Airbus A350-1000, on an inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris.

The aircraft is the first A350 to be operated by a UAE airline, and the first of five A350s set to join Etihad’s fleet over the coming months.

The first flight departed Abu Dhabi for Paris Charles de Gaulle at 7.30am with a delegation including diplomatic dignitaries, Etihad and Airbus representatives, media and trade partners.

Named Sustainability50, the aircraft’s livery celebrates both the UAE’s 50th anniversary and Etihad’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Speaking about the launch, Etihad Group chief executive officer Tony Douglas said: “The Airbus A350 is an absolutely incredible aircraft, and we are proud to introduce it into the Etihad Airways network today.

Our teams have worked 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.”

Formed as a partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainability50 programme will see Etihad’s A350s used to test new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions, building on the learnings derived from Etihad’s similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing B787 aircraft type.

Etihad recently established a formal framework with Airbus to collaborate on sustainability across a number of areas, including the promotion and commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel, waste and weight management, and the development of data-driven analysis.


Airbus Africa and Middle East president Mikail Houari commented: “Etihad Airways has been a long-standing partner of Airbus in the UAE and we are excited to continue our collaboration. The A350-1000 is setting new standards of air travel, offering unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25% 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 working together to support Etihad Airways expand its network through our most technologically advanced and efficient aircraft.”

Douglas added: “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.” 

The airline’s new A350-1000s will be deployed on short to mid-range routes, including Mumbai and Delhi, in Q2 or 2022, before being introduced on long-haul operations to Chicago and New York from July 2022.

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