Etihad cuts Dreamliners order in favour of B777s
Eithad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s government-owned airline, has scrapped an order for four of Boeing’s delayed 787 Dreamliner aircraft in a bid to keep its fleet expansion on track.
The Middle East’s fourth-largest carrier will instead take delivery of three Boeing 777-model planes in 2013 and cut back its order for 35 Dreamliners by four, it said in a statement.
“Etihad has simply exercised its options,” a spokesperson said.
The airline is scheduled to receive its first 787-model planes in late 2014. Boeing delayed the Dreamliner project for a seventh time on January 18.
Etihad, which has built a network of 66 cities in 44 countries in less than six years, has unveiled ambitious plans to expand its destinations and frequencies over the coming years.
The airline said in January that 74 percent of its destinations would be served by a daily flight by October 2011, with an initial focus on squeezing the lucrative Europe, China and US markets.
Etihad placed one of the largest-ever aircraft orders in 2008 when it signed a deal for 55 Airbus SAS A320s, A350s and A380 superjumbos, and 35 Boeing Co 787 Dreamliners and 10 777s.