Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways is teaming up with travel management giant CWT for a new carbon-offsetting partnership.

The agreement was announced as part of the launch of Etihad’s new Corporate Conscious Choices programme, which aims to help both organisations and travellers to make choices that help to reduce carbon emissions.

The partnership between Etihad and CWT will see all the TMC’s bookings on Etihad flights automatically offset by the airline using ICAO’s carbon emissions calculation system.  

This initiative, running from 1 January to 31 March 2022, will see these purchased offsets going to support Etihad’s climate action projects in Tanzania, Peru and Indonesia.

Tony Douglas, group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Sustainability has been at the top of Etihad’s agenda as the most significant long-term priority of our business for a long time.

“But it is more than just a business priority. It’s a social responsibility, as the influence organisations have on society as leaders, helping consumers make sustainable choices in their everyday lives, is a duty and obligation of doing business.”

Patrick Andersen, CWT’s chief commercial officer, added: “Seeking more environmentally responsible travel solutions is a continuing focus, and our initial offsetting partnership with Etihad is the latest in our range of such ground-breaking initiatives.”

Etihad’s wider Corporate Conscious Choices programme is designed to allow corporates to offset the impact of travel through investing in the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and an optional “green surcharge” added to the ticket price. The airline did not disclose any figures for the surcharge but said it would be “nominal”.

The programme also includes Corporate Conscious Miles, which will be awarded to travellers’ organisations when they book flights and can be used to further offset travel emissions.

Conscious Choices is Etihad’s latest environmental initiative following the launch of the Etihad Guest Green Loyalty programme in December 2021.

Martin Drew, Etihad’s senior vice president, global sales and cargo, said the latest development would “empower and facilitate sustainable action”.

“It’s a special programme designed to reward organisations and staff for making sustainable choices,” Drew told an online press conference.

Drew also noted that the airline’s business travel sales had started to “bounce back” and added the emergence of the Omicron variant in the past few weeks had been “a bit of a temporary blip”.

“Based on conversations with our corporate partners and travel management companies, we estimate that business travel will come back to 60-65 per cent of 2019 levels this year,” said Drew.

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