Etihad places 55 firm aircraft orders with Airbus
Monday, 14 July 2008

Etihad Airways today announced firm orders for 55 aircraft with manufacturer Airbus at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The list price for the order is approximately US $12 billion.

Aircraft deliveries will begin in 2011 and be completed in 2020. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has signed contracts for:

• 20 A320 aircraft. The engine type is subject to further discussions
• 25 A350 aircraft, powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines
• 10 A380 aircraft. The engine type is subject to further discussions

There are also options for five A320s, 10 A350s and five A380s together with purchase rights for a further 15 A320s, 15 A350s and five A380s.

Etihad Airways’ chairman Dr Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan and chief executive James Hogan announced the order jointly.

James Hogan said: “This is a momentous day for Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi. It reflects the strength and pace of economic growth in the Emirate and the integral role Etihad will play in Abu Dhabi’s future.

“That future will see planned investments in infrastructure and projects within the Emirate likely to exceed US $200 billion during the next 10 years, an aggressive tourism push and enormous residential development. We are extremely proud to play a leading role in realising these exciting plans in the years ahead.

“The size of our order also mirrors the rising prominence of the Middle East and its increasing emergence as a new focal point of global aviation and a natural air bridge between East and West offering the fastest air links for travellers and freight forwarders.”

A key selection criterion in the deal has been the environmental performance of the aircraft. Mr Hogan added: “The new generation Airbus aircraft we have ordered are amongst the most fuel efficient and will help maintain Etihad’s fleet as one of the youngest and greenest in the sky.”

Tom Enders, Airbus president and chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted Airbus’ partnership with Etihad Airways is growing from strength to strength. By selecting and ordering the A350, Etihad Airways will have aircraft from across the Airbus range. And the repeat order for the A380 demonstrates the confidence Etihad places in this unique product.

Etihad Airways’ chairman Dr Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan said: “The story of Etihad’s growth has been a remarkable one. At every stage of our short history we have surprised people with the scale of our ambition – and at every stage we have delivered on that ambition.

“This Airbus aircraft order is another major step forward in our journey and will enable us to continue our exciting expansion plans by adding new destinations to our growing global network and fulfill our aspirations of bringing Abu Dhabi to the world.”

Since its establishment in 2003, Etihad Airways has been recognised as the fastest growing airline in commercial aviation history. It serves 45 global destinations covering Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America and this year is on course to carry six million passengers.

So far this year, the airline has started new flights to Beijing in China. August will see Chennai (Madras) and Kozhikode (Calicut) in India, and Minsk in Belarus added to the network. Etihad will also launch new services in December to Moscow in Russia and Almaty in Kazakhstan.

Source: Press Release (Etihad & Airbus)