Etihad operated over 40 ecoFlights in 2022. Image Credit: Supplied/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which has been spearheading the global drive towards green aviation, has won a seal of approval for the second year running.

The airline has been named Environmental Airline of the Year 2023 at the Airline Ratings awards, having clinched the title last year as well.

And that was not the only accolade the airline won this year – the carrier stood third in Airline Ratings’ ‘Top 10 Airlines’ award, which critiques airlines on comfort, innovation, value and safety across Economy, Business and First Class.

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Antonoaldo Neves, Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We take great pride in reducing our CO2 RTK by 26 per cent. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and efforts of our team to drive our sustainability agenda and we thank them for their contributions. I am also very proud of our overall achievements, which go beyond delivering direct CO2 reductions but explore innovative solutions to the broader challenges facing aviation sustainability, as you can see in our annual report.”

One RTK, or revenue tonne kilometre, is generated when a metric tonne of revenue load is carried 1km. Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, said: “Etihad Airways has demonstrated its leadership in the push for sustainable flight with its Greenliner Boeing 787 program and last year with its Sustainability50, A350 aircraft. In every aspect, Etihad Airways staff and management are committed to reducing the airline’s CO2 footprint and it shows. The rallying phrase is a million things count in reducing emissions and thus the focus is all-consuming. The airline’s Sustainability Report 2021-2022 demonstrates the potential advancements to be made in sustainable aviation by a wide range of initiatives.”

The top airlines

Air New Zealand was named Airline of the Year, being honoured for the seventh time since 2013. Qatar Airways ranked second, followed by Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa / Swiss, SAS, TAP Portugal, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, British Airways, Jet Blue, JAL, Vietnam Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Hawaiian, KLM, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines.

“Air New Zealand’s commitment to excellence in all facets of its business starts at the top with outstanding governance and one of the best executive teams in aviation through to a workforce that is delivering consistently to the airline’s strategy and customer promise,” said.

The crown for the best first class was awarded to Singapore Airlines.

“The airline has pioneered many innovations for all cabin classes but its First Class is a standout And now it has taken that product to a new level with its new Skyroom suites on the A380. The Skyroom is spectacular and each suite covers between 3.23 and 4 square meters of floor space with two-piece sliding doors operated manually, as opposed to electrically with other carriers, a source for prolonged malfunctions,” the ranking website said.

Low-cost airlines

Dubai’s flyDubai featured among the top 25 low-cost airlines in the ranking, along with carriers such as AirAsia, Allegiant, Bonza, Cebu Pacific, EasyJet, Eurowings, Flair, Frontier, GOL, Indigo, Jet2, JetBlue, Jetstar, Norse Atlantic, Peach, Ryanair, Scoot, Spirit, Southwest, Transavia, TUI, Vietjet, Vueling, Wizz Air.