Etihad wants its new Boeing 'Greenliner' to become 'social media star'
If you're a TPG regular reader, you've probably flown a Boeing Dreamliner, but next time you fly Etihad, you may get to travel on the first-ever Greenliner.
The American manufacturer and the Abu Dhabi-based airline have entered a partnership which will see one of Etihad's new 787s used as a real-life test bed for eco-friendly best practices, the companies announced Monday.
The plane will get a special paint scheme and will enter service next year. Among its early missions: a special "eco flight" from Abu Dhabi to Brussels during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January.
Etihad said the Greenliner flights will act as a "flying laboratory" and will use new procedures and initiatives aimed at reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide output. Neither side, however, revealed specific plans for testing that might be done once the jet begins flying to Etihad.
"The 787 Dreamliner and its track record of environmental performance makes it the perfect platform to advance our industry's commitment to sustainable growth," Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Etihad Airways to identify more opportunities to improve efficiency across commercial aviation."
As part of the partnership, the two companies will also work together to identify ways of making regular airplane maintenance more efficient.
The tie-up was announced at the Dubai Airshow, where Etihad CEO Tony Douglas said at a press conference that the carrier hoped to make the Greenliner a "social media star." He added that Etihad would be willing to share eco-friendly findings from this aircraft's operations with other airlines "because it's about moving the industry forward in a responsible fashion."
Douglas noted that Etihad's age of 16 years makes it one of the younger big carriers in operation today.
"We're like a millennial and like all good millennials, they're really focused on the environment and the sustainability agenda," Douglas said.