Etihad Airways Passengers Adopt a Big Step towards Sustainability

A greener future is closer than we think: Etihad Airways passengers will soon be able to enjoy a much more carbon-conscious experience as the airline introduces its initiative to adopt a mangrove tree with every purchase of an Economy Space seat aboard their flights.

Sky view of Etihad Forest, a mangrove created as part of etihad airways sustainability project.
For the foreseeable future, Etihad Airways will be planting mangrove trees with every Economy Space seat purchased | © Etihad Airways

A Greener Seat: Etihad’s Pledge to Carbon Neutral Flying

This news follows the launch of Etihad’s Mangrove Forest project, in which multiple programs (which include Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and The Storey Group) partnered up in a biodiversity initiative that aims to create carbon-absorbing forests in all the areas that Etihad Airways serves. By the first quarter of 2023, the initiative aims to have planted 182,000 mangroves in Abu Dhabi, before setting its sights on international locations to grow their forests.

The project aims to ensure that every seat bought by a guest will eventually become carbon neutral through the growth of the mangrove trees planted. This means that, over time, a balance will be created between the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by Etihad’s airplanes, and the amount absorbed by the mangroves. Over a lifetime, mangrove trees can remove up to 4 times as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere compared to other trees – which means that the time it would take to balance the CO2 levels becomes much shorter.

Mangrove trees surround a bridge. Wooden lamp post is visible on the right.
The planted mangrove trees will eventually make Etihad Airways flights more carbon neutral |© Ronnie Altising

“The Etihad Mangrove Forest is a key initiative in our sustainability journey to ensure our responsibility to remove carbon from the atmosphere is progressing. The intent is to create forests on all continents we fly to, and to provide our guests with an engaging opportunity to take part in the solution.” – Mariam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability, Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Airways Passengers: Mangrove Trees for All

With the purchase of an Economy Space seat onboard any Etihad Airways flight, passengers will be able to receive information about their adopted trees within ten days of their flight. The engagement doesn’t stop there, either: guests will be able to track the progress of their tree, such as its CO2 consumption and pictures of its growth. This will all be available initially through an email link, from which the guest can then download the app to keep track of the tree in the future.

The attraction towards this project, perhaps, lies in the accessibility. By giving customers in Economy the chance to make their flight experience more environmentally friendly, it allows more people to contribute to their own carbon footprints, in a personalised way. In a recent statement, Head of Sustainability Mariam Al Qubaisi spoke on how the project supports Etihad’s ethos:

“In addition to our own sustainability ambitions, we made a commitment to helping our guests and partners to travel more sustainably and empower them to make conscious choices. With the latest evolution of our sustainability programme to plant a mangrove on behalf of every guest who books an Economy Space seat, we’re simplifying the process so anyone can travel sustainably.”

Although the mangroves initiative is aimed at Economy Space customers, other cabins can join in on the carbon-neutral fun as well. In the Rewards Shop, customers can use their sky miles to participate, as well as find other ways to achieve a greener experience.

Family on Etihad Airways flight, smiling.
A more carbon-conscious experience is promised by Etihad Airways for those in Economy Space | © Etihad Airways

Environmental Airline of the Year: Etihad Airways

Etihad Airlines has been recognised internationally for its ambitions when it c0mes t0 sustainability, which can be seen from this year’s Airline Excellence Awards where they won Environmental Airline of the Year.

What do you think about Etihad Airways’ mangrove project? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kirsty Atek
Kirsty Atek
Kirsty Atek is a visual artist based in London who is interested in sustainability.


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