Etihad Airways will be launching its first NFT collection titled EY-ZERO1. 

Going digital 

Second UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways has recently become the latest large airline to jump on the NFT bandwagon by launching its first exclusive collection on 21 July. 

The non-fungible token (NFT) collection will feature 10 detailed 3D models that each showcase a unique Etihad Boeing 787 livery. A grand total of 2,003 NFTs will be available to purchase. The motivation behind the specific 2,003 on sale is the fact that 2003 was the year in which Etihad was founded. 

EY-ZERO1 will be minted on the Polygon blockchain – meaning that Etihad’s NFTs will be published on the Polygon blockchain in order to be purchasable. Each of the 10 3D models will showcase one of Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner liveries, including its popular Manchester City Football Club and “Greenliner” themed jets. 

Etihad Airways Manchester City livery
Etihad Airways have sponsored 2021/22 Premier League champions Manchester City since 2009. | © Wikimedia Commons

The Etihad NFTs will go on sale at 6 pm UAE time on 21 July. The sale will remain open up until 18 August, subject to availability. Each EY-ZERO1 will be priced at $349 plus tax. 

Many will be pleased to discover that once purchasing an Etihad NFT you will be automatically awarded Etihad Guest Silver status for a year. 

And it doesn’t stop there. 

10 lucky winners will receive complimentary flight tickets with the second-largest airline in the UAE. 

Sustainability? 

Etihad Airways is also partnering with Aerial.is to track the CO2 emissions of its NFTs. The carrier is also planning to offset the entire carbon footprint of its NFT project and allocate all financial proceeds from the project to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). 

Considering the fact that many criticise the environmental impact of NFT pieces, these pre-emptive measures from the airliner are important to ensure that they are not significantly disrupting its mission to achieve zero emissions

However, is this rather contradictory? Considering the fact that simply minting an NFT can produce up to 48 kg of carbon dioxide, according to data gathered by Earth.org, some may see Etihad’s decision to raise money for its environmentally conscious projects using an environmentally damaging art form as…odd. 

Etihad Airways greenliner
Etihad Airways’ Greenlander aircraft leads the carrier’s projects and initiatives towards its target of net-zero emissions by 2050. | © Thomas Pallini/Insider

Tony Douglas, CEO of the Etihad Group, shared his thoughts on the Dubai-based carrier launching its first NFT collection:

“We’re excited to launch our first NFT collection, EY-ZERO1, which not only offers collectors, aviation enthusiasts and travellers a unique work of art, but provides real-world travel and lifestyle benefits with Etihad Airways. NFTs and other metaverse technologies are revolutionising the digital economy, and we are proud to be one of the first airlines in the world to explore their potential to provide additional utility for our customers.”

He continued, addressing the carrier’s sustainability projects and policies:

“As well as recognising the artistic value of our aircraft liveries, our NFT collection has been designed to be as efficient as possible and support our wider sustainability and decarbonisation efforts at Etihad Airways.”

What do you make of Etihad’s latest venture into the world of NFTs? Will you be purchasing one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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