Etihad looks to fly COP27 delegates in on ‘zero-emission’ flight

These flights will be powered entirely by SAF, which is up to 80% less carbon intensive

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Etihad Airways has joined forces with World Energy to try and bring delegates to COP27 on what it claims to be net zero flights.

These flights will be powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); a biofuel that has similar properties to jet fuel but can emit up to 80% less carbon.

SAF can be made out of food waste, grain, algae, seeds, waste oils and many other sources that do not purely derive from fossil fuels.

Currently, it has only been approved for conventional flights to be used in a 50/50 split with regular jet fuel – however, World Energy is looking to provide 100% SAF-powered flights for this year’s climate summit.

Etihad is purchasing the fuel from World Energy to use in its flights from Washington to Abu Dhabi, via Sharm El-Sheikh – the COP27 host city.

Any fuel not used will then be administered to other airlines flying out of the American airport.

Etihad Airways’ Head of Sustainability, Mariam Alqubaisi, said: “This initiative is about proving net zero commercial aviation is possible – but equally facing up to the significant logistical challenges the industry faces to turn the possible into the routine.”

Gene Gebolys, World Energy CEO, added: “Flying people and goods is one of the most carbon-intensive things humans do.

“But there is a way off this course. Together, we can efficiently change the fuel we fly on so we can change the impact of flying.”

SAF currently costs four times more than regular kerosene, however, Etihad has revealed for this set of flights passengers will not be slapped with higher fees.