Another vote of confidence from a leading Middle East carrier for Airbus
Etihad Airways, national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neo aircraft and one A330-200F as part of its fleet modernization strategy. The contract was signed today at the 2013 Dubai Airshow by James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
The order comprises 40 A350-900s, ten A350-1000s, one A330-200F, 26 A321neo’s and 10 A320neo’s. Etihad currently operates a fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft, 25 A330s and 11 A340s. The new aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s existing long-haul fleet delivering operational efficiencies and cost savings.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said, “Ten years ago this month, we celebrated our inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi using an Airbus A330.
“A decade later, we have grown into one of the world’s leading airlines and the importance of Airbus to our fast-growing operations has never been stronger. We have more than 60 Airbus aircraft in our fleet today, and this latest order is testament to the continued strength of our partnership.
“As one of the first airlines set to receive the much-awaited Airbus A350-1000, we look forward to benefiting from its operational efficiencies and cost savings.”
“We are delighted that Etihad Airways has consistently maintained its confidence in the full range of Airbus’ modern aircraft family. This is highlighted by today’s new order for the fuel-efficient A320neo Family, to the versatile A330-200F and up to the all-new, efficient A350 XWB Family,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing Etihad benefit from the unbeatable economics and best-in-class comfort all our aircraft offer, ensuring the continued success of Etihad Airways as a leading airline for the years to come.”
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized to accommodate Airbus’ 18-inch economy seat-width for long range passenger comfort, will also bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB to date has already won 764 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large "Sharklet" wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of October 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,487 from 44 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
The A330-200F is the all-freight version of the best-selling A330 Family. It is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter and can carry 70 tonnes of payload with a range capability of up to 4,000nm. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the A330, with over 1,010 aircraft currently flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.