Etihad Airways has unveiled its new Airbus A350-1000, registration A6-XWB, on a special inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris.
The aircraft is the first A350 to be operated by a UAE airline, and the first of five A350s set to join the fleet over the coming months.
The first flight departed Abu Dhabi for Paris Charles de Gaulle at 07:30 with a delegation including diplomatic dignitaries, Etihad and Airbus representatives, media, trade partners and other VIPs.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, commented: “The Airbus A350 is an absolutely incredible aircraft, and we are proud to introduce it into the Etihad Airways network today.
“Our teams have worked closely together to craft a product and travel proposition that will ensure every journey with Etihad is a choice well made – both for our guests and for the planet.”
The aircraft, named Sustainability50, carries a unique livery in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the federation of the UAE and a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 from the airline.
Etihad recently established a formal framework with Airbus to collaborate on sustainability across a number of areas including the promotion and commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel, waste and weight management, and the development of data-driven analysis.
Mikail Houari, president, Airbus Africa and Middle East, commented: “Etihad Airways has been a long-standing partner of Airbus in the UAE and we are excited to continue our collaboration.
“The A350-1000 is setting new standards of air travel, offering unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions.
“This marks the start of a promising new chapter for the UAE’s aviation sector, led by innovation and a commitment to sustainability.
“We look forward to many more years of partnership and working together to support Etihad Airways expand its network through our most technologically advanced and efficient aircraft.”