Rolls-Royce and Etihad Airways signed a comprehensive agreement to drive forward sustainable aviation on Sunday at the Dubai Airshow. The pact targets the application of electrification technologies and hybrid systems for commuter aircraft and the fast-emerging urban air mobility (UAMs) sector.
The two companies said they would work alongside partners such as Airbus to test and apply new technology solutions and developments in sustainability to Etihad’s incoming fleet of A350 airliners, spearheaded by the Sustainability50 flagship aircraft.
Through its innovations in electrification and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), Rolls-Royce believes it holds the keys to unlock the door of opportunity on decarbonization, extending from its net-zero strategy and related announcements at last week’s COP26 global environment summit in Scotland.
“Our commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 can only be achieved by working collaboratively with our valued customers,” said Chris Cholerton, president of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace. “Our longstanding relationship with Etihad Airways provides an excellent foundation to build innovative solutions in aviation as we embark on our common journey towards an increasingly sustainable industry.”
Rolls-Royce said its annual underlying revenue totaled £11.76 billion ($15.78 billion) in 2020 and that it invested £1.25 billion on research and development. “We also support a global network of 28 university technology centers, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research,” it added.
“Today’s agreement builds on our long history with Rolls-Royce and formalizes our cooperation for decarbonization, as we research, develop, and test sustainable solutions to move the industry forward toward net-zero," said Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas. “There is no quick fix to overcome the challenge of aviation sustainability; it is going to take a united effort if we are to reach our shared goals of drastically reducing the carbon emissions of air travel.”