x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Etihad living the Dream with $2.8 billion deal for new aircaft

Etihad Airways is to become the biggest operator of Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliner after signing a deal to buy 10 of the fuel-efficient aircraft.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2 in Dubai. (Photo by Jeff Topping/The National)
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2 in Dubai. (Photo by Jeff Topping/The National)

Etihad Airways, the UAE national carrier, is buying 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, in a deal which will make it the largest operator of the fuel-efficient aircraft in the world.

In addition, the airline has ordered another two Boeing 777 Freighters for its Etihad Crystal Cargo operation, Etihad said today.

In all, the 12 additional aircraft are valued at US$2.8 billion (Dh10.3bn) at current list prices.

"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," chief executive James Hogan said.

Etihad's order follows multi-billion dollar bookings by its rival Gulf operators, Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways, at the recent Dubai Airshow.

As well as Etihad's 12 firm orders, the airline also has options and purchase rights on 25 more Dreamliners. It means Etihad will now take delivery of 41 787s between late 2014 and 2019.

Etihad's order is a significant show of faith in the Dreamliner, which has been heralded as a game changer in commercial aerospace.

Despite delays during its manufacturing, the Dreamliner is the most popular new aircraft in aviation history. The aircraft has been much anticipated because its more efficient engines will enable airlines to cut their carbon emissions while saving on fuel costs.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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