Etihad has been looking to find an ecological solution to its inflight service for some time. Over the past few years the airline has been at the forefront of experimental eco-flights with everything from zero-plastic long-haul journeys to new technologies to rid the world of vapour-trails.
However, the latest developments will be a welcome addition to the passenger experience in economy class. Launching in Q4 this year the airline will not only be giving every economy passenger a 35% larger cushion with a 200-thread count cotton cover to pair with the fully-recycled plastic soft-touch blanket, but also an entirely new tableware product.
While the product itself is stylish and premium in nature, that’s not the attention grabbing headline. The new products have been designed with sustainability and improved guest experience as primary objectives.
Etihad’s new dining experience features reusable tableware made from recycled high-quality plastic and eliminates the use of single-use plastic. The tray, serving plates and their lids are part of a closed loop recycling system. At the end of their lifecycle, they are collected, washed, ground and reused to make new replacement products.
Etihad is also introducing quality stainless-steel cutlery into the Economy cabin which upgrades the experience and also reduces single-use plastic. Now the airline made a grand ambition to remove 80% of single-use plastic from its operation by the end of 2022, and the introduction of this new tableware will actually mean the airline can meet the first of its ambitious sustainability goals.
The pillows will also be made in the UAE, further improving the environmental impact, and the airline will look to source locally produced items wherever it can in a bid to create a more sustainable operation.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, commented: “Etihad is trailblazing when it comes to sustainability in aviation. Following extensive research and development through our eco-flights over the past few years, we’re proud to reveal the first in a series of enhancements to our inflight experience. Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t come at a compromise to the quality and thoughtfulness behind Etihad’s guest experience, and these innovative new products will further improve our offering. We look forward to rolling out this new experience across the fleet towards the latter part of the year.”