Etihad changes


ETIHAD AIRWAYS has restructured its orders for Boeing and Airbus aircraft, with the Gulf carrier now committed to taking far fewer new jets than previously planned.

The carrier has revised its commitments to just 20 Airbus A350-1000s, six Boeing 777- 9s, an undisclosed number of 787s and 26 A321neos, media reports in the Middle East say.

These numbers compare to previous order announcements from the airline for 62 A350s, 26 777s, 52 787s and 36 A320neo family aircraft.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas told IATA early in March about the order changes. He said airlines have to be, “ready to make fast decisions and to adapt at very short notice. This is the new reality, and you will see more and more major players who compete in the global market having to change or alter their operating model.”

Douglas said Etihad would optimise its network and rationalise its fleet by phasing out older types. Douglas also said Etihad has been “seen exclusively as an uber-luxury airline” and is evolving into what he called a “fully inclusive full-service airline”.