UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways plans to carry out intensive flight tests for a week to research carbon emission reductions.

The research and testing will be undertaken by the carrier on more than 30 flights to evaluate operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that could cut down its carbon footprint.

Under the week-long programme, more than 20 commercial flights from Etihad’s network will participate to evaluate contrail avoidance technologies in collaboration with UK’s green aerospace firm Satavia.

The tests are being carried out for contrail prevention, in addition to incorporating atmospheric modelling with operational flight planning to avoid contrail formation.

Contrail prevention is a software solution, which can be deployed through technical integration with flight operations, Etihad stated.

To assess various flight and engine optimisation initiatives, Etihad will also operate around 13 EcoFlights. Based on the success of the trials, these flights will be included in normal scheduled operations.

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Etihad stated: “Each of these flight tests will be operated on Etihad’s fleet of fuel-efficient A350 and 787 aircraft, spearheaded by the ‘Etihad Greenliner’, and Etihad’s newest aircraft, the ‘Sustainable 50’.”

The EcoFlights will further evaluate and trial operational initiatives for the assessment and confirmation of learnings from earlier EcoFlights for optimisation of flight paths.

Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas said: “The tests we’re conducting this week are just the latest initiatives in our long-running and comprehensive sustainability programme, because for us, sustainability is a priority every day, not just once a year when it’s convenient and expected.”

In January, Etihad Airways rolled out a new loyalty programme for corporate travellers in a bid to encourage them to support sustainable initiatives.