ETW Staff – Mumbai
Etihad Airways has announced its largest ever fleet order, for 199 aircraft and 294 engines, in a US$ 67 billion dollar deal which will enable the airline to accelerate its industry-leading growth over the next decade.It announced firm orders at the Dubai Air Show for 87 Airbus and 56 Boeing aircraft, with a further 56 options and purchase rights. The new aircraft will be powered by 127 GE Aviation, 115 Rolls-Royce and 52 CFM engines.
The new aircraft will be used to support the ambitious growth strategy of Etihad Airways, launching into new markets and increasing frequencies on existing routes, as well as replacing its older, less efficient aircraft.
The order, for 25 next-generation Boeing 777X aircraft, 30 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, one Boeing 777 freighter, 50 Airbus A350 XWB, 36 Airbus A320neo family aircraft and one Airbus A330-200F, will see passenger aircraft deliveries start in 2018. Etihad Airways will now become the single largest airline customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the 30 aircraft in this order being added to 41 announced in previous orders. It will also become a launch customer for the Boeing 777-8X aircraft.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Etihad Airways has celebrated its tenth anniversary. In just one decade, we have grown into an airline with 86 aircraft, carrying more than 11 million passengers on 97 routes, served by more than 16,500 employees. We now have seven equity alliance partners reaching across the world and a business strategy that has seen us create the world’s leading airline. We have achieved all of this while reaching sustainable profitability. These aircraft orders provide the next step in our long-term growth strategy. They are about meeting the needs of the next 10 years, and beyond. We are helping to establish Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s great aviation hubs, offering connections to cities on every continent. This order will provide us with the capacity to continue with those ambitious aspirations.”
The mix of wide- and narrow-body aircraft will help support the development of the airline’s maturing network, focused on its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which will see the new Midfield Terminal opening in 2017, significantly increasing capacity.
Etihad Airways currently holds stakes in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Virgin Australia, and Air Serbia. Etihad Airways recently received regulatory approval for a proposed 24 per cent investment in India’s Jet Airways. It is also announced that the acquisition of a 33.3 per cent stake in Swiss carrier, Darwin Airline, which will offer Etihad Airways’ first branded regional operations under the new Etihad Regional badge and livery.