Etihad to Focus on Sustainability in New Economy Class Experience

The UAE’s national airline will introduce eco-friendly blankets and eliminate single-use plastic from meal trays.

Photo: Etihad Airways

Leading global carriers are proving that going greener doesn’t have to mean sacrificing passenger comfort. Etihad Airways recently unveiled its new economy-class soft furnishings and tableware, which are set to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. The new products have been designed with sustainability and improved guest experience as primary objectives.

Customers flying economy aboard all Etihad flights will be given a pillow that is 35 percent larger than before, with a 200 thread-count cotton cover made locally in the UAE. This will be complemented by a soft blanket made from recycled plastic for additional comfort.

Etihad’s new dining experience features reusable tableware made from recycled high-quality plastic. The tray, serving plates and their lids are part of a closed loop system: at the end of their lifecycle, they are collected, washed, ground, and reused to make new replacement products. Etihad is also introducing high-quality stainless-steel cutlery in the economy cabin to help cut down on unnecessary waste.

In 2019, Etihad committed to remove 80 percent of single-use plastic from its operation by the end of 2022 and the introduction of this new inflight equipment will ensure the airline meets this sustainability goal. Where possible, Etihad is also moving towards locally produced items, which will further reduce the overall environmental impact of operations.

Terry Daly, Etihad Airways’ Executive Director Guest Experience of Brand and Marketing, said in a statement, “Following extensive research and development through our eco-flights over the past few years, we’re proud to reveal the first in a series of enhancements to our inflight experience. Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t come at a compromise to the quality and thoughtfulness behind Etihad’s guest experience, and these innovative new products will further improve our offering. We look forward to rolling out this new experience across the fleet toward the latter part of the year.”

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