The ‘eco partnership’ was announced at the Dubai International Air Show and will see the introduction of the Greenliner aircraft early next year.
Etihad and Boeing will use it to explore and assess new environmental initiatives, while suppliers and regulators will also be invited to put forward new products and ideas.
The Greenliner is expected to operate several flights using biofuels derived from saltwater-tolerant plants following the first commercial service to use the fuel – an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam earlier this year.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, says: “The rapid growth of air travel has increased aircraft carbon emissions, and it is the responsibility of the aviation industry to reverse this trend.
“The ‘Etihad Greenliner’ will highlight the shared commitment of Etihad and Boeing to advance sustainable practices in aviation.”
Stanley Deal, Executive Vice President of The Boeing Company, and President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, adds: “The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has revolutionised commercial aviation in many ways.
“Its breakthrough design and advanced technology have translated into greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. We are delighted to partner with Etihad to leverage the Dreamliner platform to identify ways to further improve sustainability in airline operations.”
Etihad has one of the largest fleets of Dreamliners in the world, operating 30 B787-9s and six larger B787-10s.
It has introduced them on 38 of its 76 passenger routes to replace less-efficient aircraft, increase capacity, and pioneer new markets, and will continue to expand their use in 2020.