Etihad Airways on January 19 launched a green loyalty programme taking competitive advantage in the emerging global effort to attract passengers who are committed to mitigate climate change impact.
“We do see ourselves as thought leaders in this space,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Cargo, Etihad on January 19 at an online media conference held in Abu Dhabi at the airline’s headquarters.
The new loyalty programme titled “Conscious Choices by Etihad” enables members to earn miles for choices including carrying less baggage and offsetting carbon emissions by directing miles to approved organisations.
Etihad said it intends to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and to cut 50 per cent from its 2019 emissions by 2035. Corporate customers of the airlines can lessen their carbon footprint by earning rewards for carbon offsets, investment in sustainable aviation fuel and paying a green surcharge.
Etihad has boosted the visibility of its sustainability efforts by flying the “Etihad Greenliner,” a green Boeing 787 used to test products, procedures and other initiatives intended to reduce carbon emissions.
Conscious Choices establishes a parallel green mileage programme to complement the existing Etihad Guest Miles programme, where passengers accumulate Tier Miles and status.
Drew further mentioned, the cost of sustainable aviation fuel is three to four times the cost of commonly used aviation jet fuel. “But we can reduce costs,” he added.
Under the new programme, Etihad Guest mileage programme participants can also accumulate miles for offsetting emissions from everyday activities such as driving, cooking and using air conditioning, and for donating miles to a green cause or purchasing sustainable products from the programme.
Etihad claimed it is the first airline to reward frequent flyers for being more sustainable on the ground and also in the air.