Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has partnered with local designers to upcycle obsolete aircraft cabin interiors into pieces of art, as an environmentally friendly alternative of dealing with waste.
Carpet and fabric rolls, emergency equipment, sidewalls and windows, and Economy and Business class seats are just some of the old aircraft parts Azza Al Qubaisi and Christine Wilson used to design art installations for Etihad Airways.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing said: “End-of-life parts that were destined for landfill have been repurposed into beautiful art instillations by skilled artists who used rare and unwanted aircraft scraps.
“By collaborating with artists from the local community, our goal is to not only showcase talent within the region, but to further encourage sustainable innovation that’s good for the environment”.
Born in Abu Dhabi, Emirati sculptor Azza Al Qubaisi’s first art piece used seat floor mounting rails as a building motif to create symmetric geometric formations that can be displayed free standing or suspended from the ceiling.
“Visiting Etihad’s warehouse of aircraft parts during the COVID-19 pandemic brought back memories of travelling around the world and discovering different cultures. I was thrilled to have unlimited access to amazing materials that I could upcycle or melt into art for my ‘Seeking Identity’ sculpture series.
“After deconstructing some seats, I have a bigger appreciation for the ergonomics and technology that goes into them – there are hundreds of pieces. I’m already working on a second piece of art by melting and casting the scrap materials I didn’t use for my first installation and I can’t wait to share it with the world,” said Azza.
Using aircraft curtains, wall panels, life jackets and cabin interiors, Christine Wilson, an emerging artist from Ireland based in Dubai, designed a multidimensional upcycled art piece to encapsulate a textural zeitgeist of Etihad.
“Upon reflection and consideration, we want to remind travellers that 2020 should be remembered for more than the difficulty of COVID-19 times. ‘Aintiqal /انتقال’ is a visual reflection of the Abu Dhabi skyline and depicts the incredible landmark achievements of the UAE’s space programme. It represents national pride and reminds us of new beginnings and a new journey,” said Christine.
Inspired by nature with a passion for the environment, Christine founded her ‘covid-couture’ business at the start of the global pandemic to play her part in remaking the world and living a sustainable life.
Etihad is displaying the art pieces at Etihad Headquarters and hopes to commission similar work in the future.