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Etihad partners to accelerate decarbonization

Cepsa, a Mubadala group company, and Etihad signed an MoU to accelerate the decarbonization of air transport by researching and producing sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Both companies prioritise the development of these sustainable fuels as a tool to further reduce the carbon footprint of air transport and contribute to the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the fight against climate change.

These fuels will be produced from circular raw materials that do not compete with food resources, such as used cooking oils, non-food animal waste or biodegradable waste from various industries, and will make it possible to reduce aircraft emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional kerosene.

The partnership will also work on the development of new energy alternatives such as renewable hydrogen and the electrification of Etihad’s ground fleets, which include supply vehicles, baggage loading and unloading operations and aircraft assistance.

Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Aviation decarbonization is the biggest challenge facing our industry and the development of commercially viable sustainable aviation fuel is a key requirement to meet the industry sustainability target. Our MoU with Cepsa allows us to tackle the first challenge, building demand for SAF, which in turn encourages further production and increases availability to eventually lower costs and enable further SAF uptake from the wider industry. It’s a snowball effect, which is essential if we’re to overcome the main challenges standing in the way to a commercially viable solution.”

Etihad runs the most comprehensive, cross organisational aviation sustainability initiative ever undertaken. This umbrella programme, now in its third year, includes partnerships with Boeing, GE, Airbus and Rolls Royce, as well as a wide range of collaborations with pioneering new-technology organisations, academic researchers, smaller businesses, and start-ups. Etihad’s flagship sustainability programmes include the Greenliner programme using the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners as flying test beds, as well as the Sustainable50 A350-1000 launched earlier this year.  

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