Etihad buys two Airbus 330-200

Etihad buys two Airbus 330-200

ABU DHABI — Etihad Airways has purchased two more Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft in a deal worth $418 million at current list prices.

By (Staff Report)

Published: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 11:42 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:50 PM

The UAE carrier has also converted seven of its previously ordered Airbus A320s to the larger Airbus A321 model.

The new Airbus A330 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in January and March 2014 respectively.

Etihad Airways commenced operations with its first Airbus A330-200 in November 2003. The airline currently has 16 Airbus A330-200, 6 Airbus A330-300 passenger types and two A330-200 freighters in its fleet of 67 aircraft.

Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, said: “The reliable and highly versatile Airbus A330-200 has been an integral part of our global passenger and cargo success. As our operations and network continue to grow in scale, we feel the A330-200 is the right fleet type to expand with.”

The new Etihad Airways’ Airbus A330-200s will be configured with 22 Pearl Business Class lie-flat beds and 240 Coral Economy seats. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines, enough to generate more than 70,000 pounds of thrust and give the aircraft a range of 14,000 kilometres.

Etihad Airways operates its existing A330-200s on routes to: Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tripoli, Brisbane, Singapore, Chengdu, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Beijing.

“Our decision to convert seven of our A320s on order into A321s reflects the increasingly strong demand we are seeing across our different routes and we look forward to taking delivery of our first in November 2013,” added Hogan.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, said: “Winning a fifth repeat order from Etihad Airways for A330s is without a doubt a strong endorsement for the aircraft’s unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency.

“In response to the continuing strong demand, we’re making the A330 better and better, with for example new higher weight variants which offer our customers more payload-range capability with the same high operational reliability.”

Postpones service

Etihad Airways has postponed the launch of its flights to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority rejected the airline’s application for the required operating permit, the airline confirmed.

“We will continue to push for terms of the MoU to be honoured. In the meantime, we deeply regret any inconvenience caused to our customers and business partners by this delay,” Etihad Airways said on Monday.

As a consequence, Etihad Airways is contacting all passengers who have booked to fly on the planned service and will offer a full refund, or will assist passengers to make flight arrangements with another carrier.

The rejection has come “despite the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding concluded by the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of Abu Dhabi in June 2007,” the airlines spokesman said.

Based on this agreement, Ethiopian Airlines commenced scheduled passenger flights to Abu Dhabi in July 2008, suspending the service 12 months later.

The national airline of the UAE five times per week service was scheduled to commence on November 2, 2012.

Expand services

Etihad Airways will commence codeshare services to Hong Kong in February, 2013 in partnership with Air Seychelles, subject to regulatory approval. The three return services per week between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong will be operated by its equity and codeshare partner, Air Seychelles. The new codeshare supplements Etihad Airways’ expansion in mainland China, following the launch of its first service to Beijing in March 2008, and more recently to Chengdu in December 2011 and Shanghai in March earlier this year.

Virgin Australia equity investment

Etihad Airways has welcomed the announcement by Virgin Australia that it is to acquire a majority stake in Tiger Airways and has reached an in-principle agreement to purchase Skywest Airlines.

“These investments by Virgin Australia consolidate its position today as Australia’s most successful and fastest-developing airline. The addition of Tiger and Skywest into its portfolio can only help Virgin Australia’s competitive position in the Australian market and across the Asia-Pacific region. We welcome this exciting move by Virgin,” Hogan concluded.

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