Etihad Airways Outlines Initial B787-9 Network Plans

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is to become the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 787-9 after placing a follow-up order for ten additional aircraft, the larger capacity variant of the Dreamliner.  The airline is now committed to receive 41 787s between late 2014 and 2019 with options and purchase rights on 25 more aircraft.

According to an Etihad statement, its 787-9s will be configured to carry “up to 300 passengers, and with a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,800km) it says they will be used initially on routes to destinations including Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Nagoya, Delhi and Istanbul.

“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,” said James Hogan, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways.  “It also reflects our confidence in the 787’s ability to have a significant impact on our operating efficiencies and the passenger experience we can offer onboard this revolutionary aircraft.”

Etihad has also placed an order for two additional Boeing 777 Freighters for its fast growing Etihad Crystal Cargo operation.  The cargo fleet also includes two A300-600Fs, two A330-200Fs and two MD-11Fs.  “Both the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter offer highly attractive operating economics and will facilitate our global expansion plans by allowing us to transport passengers and cargo into new markets from our hub in Abu Dhabi,” added James Hogan.