Etihad enters contrail management partnership with SATAVIA

An Etihad Airbus creates contrails overhead.
GeXeS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has signed a ground-breaking contrail management contract with SATAVIA, a leading UK-based green aerospace firm.

The partnership will build on a previous proof-of-concept engagement to expand the scope for contrail management within day-to-day flight operations.

The partnership also incorporates an agreement to collaborate on the generation of future carbon credits from contrail management activity.

The contract was signed by Etihad’s Head of Sustainability and Excellence, Mariam Al Qubaisi and SATAVIA CEO Dr Adam Durant on 18 January 2023 at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi.

Once in force, the new agreement will see Etihad scaling SATAVIA contrail prevention across daily flight schedules, accelerating the airline’s progress towards climate neutral operations.

The contrail issue

Aircraft-generated condensation trails, or contrails, cause surface warming responsible for up to two-thirds of aviation’s climate impact, significantly outweighing direct CO2 emissions from aircraft engines.

SATAVIA’s contrail management platform, DECISIONX:NETZERO, optimises commercial flight plans for greener operations, implementing small routing changes on a minority of flights to avoid the formation of persistent warming contrails.

In addition to enabling contrail management in day-to-day flight operations, SATAVIA conducts climate impact analysis for conversion into future carbon credits to be shared with Etihad.

Stakeholder statements

Mariam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability and Excellence, Etihad Airways said: “Our collaboration with SATAVIA illustrates the possibility of credible sustainability advances in day-to-day commercial operations.

“In 2022 alone, SATAVIA technology has enabled us to eliminate thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent climate impact.”

“We are delighted to sign this pioneering contract with SATAVIA at WFES, signalling our intent to tackle aviation’s non-CO2 impacts with cutting-edge science and ground-breaking technical innovation.”

Dr Adam Durant, SATAVIA CEO and Founder, said: “By implementing minimal changes to a small percentage of flights, eco-conscious operators like Etihad can eliminate most of their non-COclimate footprint with little to no impact on day-to-day operations and on shorter timescales than other green aviation interventions.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Etihad, applying best-in-class science to tackle aviation’s significant non-CO2 climate impacts. By implementing contrail management across their flight schedules, Etihad will once again blaze a trail for sustainable flight operations.”

The British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, said “Satavia’s ground-breaking software helps reduce jet contrails – a major part of aviation’s climate impact. I am delighted that Satavia have signed a contract with Etihad.”

“This is a great example from Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week of the shared innovation and commitment by UK and UAE companies to tackle climate change”.

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