Etihad plane
Etihad plane Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Etihad Airways managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 148,000 tonnes last year as it continued to implement fuel-saving initiatives that seek to improve the environmental impact of air travel.

The savings are equivalent to the amount of pollutants that 10,200 gas-pumping drivers emit on the streets, or by 1,236 flights between Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.

The reduction was made possible by introducing fuel-saving measures. Last year, the UAE-based carrier retired B777-200 planes and deployed fuel-efficient aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Pilots have also managed to reduce engine taxiing to save fuel.

Commercial passenger airplanes flying across the globe are responsible for 2.5 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had warned in 2016 that emissions from planes contribute to air pollution that puts public health at risk.

“Etihad pilots play a critical role in the airline’s environmental initiatives, significantly increasing savings by analysing insights and flight data to effectively apply key fuel efficiency procedures,”  Etihad said in a statement.

“Utilising a single engine to taxi the aircraft in and out on the tarmac reduces fuel burn. To reduce drag and conserve fuel, pilots select lower flap settings. Statistics on reduced engine taxiing as well as reduced flap landings have demonstrated record-breaking results.”

As a result, the airline saved fuel for approximately 1,440 hours of flying time or 7,900 tonnes of fuel and avoided emitting 24,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.