Etihad Airways and Airbus have participated in a handover ceremony at Farnborough International Air Show today, celebrating the first A330-200 freighter aircraft to be produced.
Etihad is the launch customer of the A330-200 freighter aircraft, which will enter service for Etihad's cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in September.
Etihad's A330-200 freighter aircraft – which can carry up to 64 metric tonnes of cargo and can fly up to 7,400 kilometres non-stop – will allow the airline's cargo business to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets, in particular China.
The handover ceremony was addressed by Etihad Chief Executive Officer James Hogan and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders.
Mr Hogan said he was delighted to welcome the A330-200 freighter aircraft to the Etihad Crystal Cargo fleet.
"Etihad Crystal Cargo has been performing very well for Etihad. Over the last quarter there was an 18 per cent increase in cargo tonnage carried, reflecting the strengthening recovery in our industry. We are focused on taking the right steps to achieve strong expansion and growth," he said.
"The new aircraft will become a key part of our freighter fleet and make a major contribution to building the strength and network of our cargo business. The additional capacity will help us significantly expand our footprint in Asia and Europe, including China, as well as enhancing our worldwide charter services."
Mr Enders said: "Etihad's A330-200 freighter aircraft will allow the airline's cargo business to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets. Overall, the recovery of freight traffic is gaining significant momentum and this aircraft gives operators like Etihad Crystal Cargo the best product for maximising returns."
Etihad will take delivery of its second A330-200 freighter aircraft in September, which will enter service by October, taking the airline's fleet number to 56 aircraft.
The A330-200 freighter aircraft is part of the airline's order placed with Airbus at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget in 2007, for aircraft to be delivered between 2008 and 2011.
The A330-200 freighter aircraft will be on display throughout the air show, after which it will undertake final pre-delivery preparation by the manufacturer in Toulouse.
Etihad Crystal Cargo currently operates a fleet of four freighter aircraft which includes two Airbus A300-600s and two MD11s.
© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)