Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it had purchased two more Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft in a deal worth US$418 million at current list prices.
The UAE carrier has also converted seven of its previously ordered Airbus A320s to the larger Airbus A321 model.
The new Airbus A330 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in January and March 2014 respectively.
Etihad Airways commenced operations with its first Airbus A330-200 in November 2003. The airline currently has 16 Airbus A330-200, 6 Airbus A330-300 passenger types and two A330-200 freighters in its fleet of 67 aircraft.
Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “The reliable and highly versatile Airbus A330-200 has been an integral part of our global passenger and cargo success. As our operations and network continue to grow in scale, we feel the A330-200 is the right fleet type to expand with.”
The new Etihad Airways’ Airbus A330-200s will be configured with 22 Pearl Business Class lie-flat beds and 240 Coral Economy seats. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines, enough to generate more than 70,000 pounds of thrust and give the aircraft a range of 14,000 kilometres.
Etihad Airways operates its existing A330-200s on routes to: Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tripoli, Brisbane, Singapore, Chengdu, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Beijing.
Mr Hogan added: “Our decision to convert seven of our A320s on order into A321s reflects the increasingly strong demand we are seeing across our different routes and we look forward to taking delivery of our first in November 2013.”
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, said: “Winning a fifth repeat order from Etihad Airways for A330s is without a doubt a strong endorsement for the aircraft’s unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency.
“In response to the continuing strong demand, we’re making the A330 better and better, with for example new higher weight variants which offer our customers more payload-range capability with the same high operational reliability.