DALLAS – Yesterday, Etihad Airways (EY) launched Airbus A350-1000 flights on an inaugural flight between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Paris (CDG).
The flight, operated by A6-XWB, departed Abu Dhabi at 7:59 am local time and arrived in Paris at 12:54 pm local time, with a flight time of seven hours. A6-XWB is the first of five Airbus A350-1000s expected to join EY’s fleet in the coming months to drive sustainability and peak summer season operations.
The airline will operate the aircraft on medium-haul flights to Mumbai and Dehli during Q2 of this year, with long haul operations to cities like Chicago and New York expected from July.
Etihad, highlighting its sustainability efforts, has named A6-XWB ‘Sustainability50’, which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the federation of the UAE and Etihad’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Airbus A350-1000, fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, offers 5% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions than previous-generation twin-aisle aircraft, a boon not only for sustainability efforts but also for more favorable operational economics.
Sustainability50 is a joint partnership between Etihad, Airbus, and Rolls Royce aimed at establishing sustainable initiatives, procedures, and technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
New Plane, New Interior
Etihad’s A350s feature a brand new interior in all classes, including 327 ‘smart’ economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, and 44 ‘Business Studio’ seats, all of which have direct aisle access.
In addition, 45 of the 327 economy class seats are ‘Economy Space’ seats, which offer an additional 4 inches of legroom.
Each passenger in economy class will have access to USB charging, Bluetooth headphone pairing, a 13.3-inch inflight entertainment screen, blankets, pillows, and amenity kits on longer flights.
The airline’s new business class seat features a width of over 20 inches, which converts into a fully-flat bed of 79 inches in length. Additional features include a wireless charging dock, an 18.5-inch screen, and Bluetooth pairing.
Business-class passengers will have access to EY’s “dine-on-demand” service, which allows customers to choose from an extensive a-la-carte selection.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “With highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, the A350 will support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests.”
Speaking on the compatibility between Airbus and Etihad, Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and the Middle East, said, “The A350-1000 is setting new standards of air travel, offering unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions. “
He continued, saying, “This marks the start of a promising new chapter for the UAE’s aviation sector, led by innovation and a commitment to sustainability.”
Featured image: Etihad Airways’ new A350-1000 aircraft. Photo: Etihad Airways