Etihad Airways has started an engine upgrade programme for more than half its Airbus A330 fleet. Scheduled to last two years, the programme will see all 15 of the airline’s Trent 700-powered A330 aircraft, delivered prior to 2010, retrofitted with enhanced performance kits.
The Trent 700 upgrade incorporates changes to the design of the compressor blades and turbines, resulting in significant improvement to the overall efficiency of the aircraft.
Captain Richard Hill, Etihad’s Chief Operations Officer, said; “We operate one of the youngest airline fleets in the world with the average age of four years. The global average age is 13. Nevertheless, we are constantly looking for opportunities to further improve the environmental performance of our aircraft to reduce unnecessary emissions and fuel burn.
“The modification process now underway at Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies will save over one million gallons of fuel for the airline on completion, and reduce Etihad Airways’ carbon footprint by more than 10,000 tons per year. This means less fuel burn which at current fuel prices should equate to fuel savings of approximately US$170,000 per aircraft equivalent to US$2.6 million per annum for the retrofitted A330 fleet,” Captain Hill added.
Etihad Airways operates a total of 24 Airbus A330s, which includes 16 A330-200s, six A330-300s, and two A330 freighters.