Lahore: Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it was buying 10 more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in a deal which will make it the largest operator of the aircraft type in the world.
The airline has also ordered another two Boeing 777 Freighters for its fast growing Etihad Crystal Cargo operation.
The 12 additional aircraft are valued at $2.8 billion at current list prices. The extra Dreamliners mean Etihad Airways will now take delivery of 41 787’s between late 2014 and 2019. The airline also has options and purchase rights on 25 more 787’s.
The 787-9 will carry up to 300 passengers and have a range of 8000 nautical miles (14,800 kilometres), and will be initially used on Etihad Airways routes to destinations including Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Nagoya, Delhi and Istanbul.
“Our decision to expand our Dreamliner fleet is testimony to Etihad’s commitment to operating one of the youngest and most fuel efficient fleets in the skies. It also reflects our confidence in the 787’s ability to have a significant impact on our operating efficiencies and the passenger experience we can offer onboard this revolutionary aircraft.
Both the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter offer highly attractive operating economics and will facilitate our global expansion plans by allowing us to transport passengers and cargo into new markets from our hub in Abu Dhabi.” Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Hogan, said.
The two extra 777 Freighters mean Etihad Airways will have a fleet of 21 777’s (18 passenger aircraft and three freighters).
The airline announced what was then the largest aircraft order in commercial aviation history at the 2008 Farnborough International Air Show for up to 205 aircraft – 100 firm orders, 55 options and 50 purchase rights.
The Dreamliner offers exceptional environmental performance, burning 20 per cent less fuel than other similar sized aircraft.
“In less than 10 years Etihad Airways has established an enviable track record and has earned global recognition for its focus on providing its customers with a quality product. We are extremely proud of our partnership with Etihad Airways and are confident the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter will make valuable contributions to Etihad’s growth plans and service to its passenger and freight customers.” said Jim Albaugh, CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
With daily flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistani travellers can experience the new aircraft on its designated routes with its prized comfort levels, efficiency and style.
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