Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced its intention to purchase from Air India five Boeing 777-200 LRs, the longest range passenger aircraft in operation to support its accelerated network growth plan.
two carriers signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) earlier this week paving the way for the deal.
777-200 LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los
Angeles, announced yesterday, which starts on June 1, 2014.
Airways currently flies to New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Toronto in
North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil, and has stated its ambition to add
new services to both continents.
to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the
beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three class cabin
configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways
fleet. It is expected the first aircraft
will enter service in April 2014.
purchase comes as Etihad Airways finalises details on a new fleet order which
will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with
its rolling network plan.
Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “The
Boeing 777-200 LR is a fantastic addition, giving us extra reach immediately
and complementing our long term fleet strategy.
continued strong organic growth, boosted by the impact of our equity partners,
has opened up new opportunities for additional destinations.
are looking forward to starting direct services to Los Angeles, as well as
increasing our flying to South America.
This is the aircraft to do that.”
Boeing 777-200 LR, of which less than 60 were manufactured, has a design range
of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from
Etihad Airways’ hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
five Air India 777-200LR aircraft, which Etihad Airways is purchasing, are on
average, six years old, helping the airline to maintain its overall position of
having one of the most modern fleets in the industry.
Airways’ current fleet will reach 87 aircraft by year end, with 14 new
deliveries from aircraft manufacturers during 2013.
long term fleet strategy to the end of the decade is based on its order,
announced at Farnborough in 2008, for up to 205 Boeing and Airbus
mix of firm orders, options and purchase rights has given the airline great
flexibility in its business development planning to 2020.
tactical addition to our fleet adds even further flexibility,” said Mr Hogan. “We’ve been able to respond quickly to a
positive opportunity to add to the fleet, allowing us to bring forward our
launch plans for a number of new routes.”