Le Bourget, Paris: National carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways (EA), has signed an agreement with Airbus for 12 new wide-body aircraft worth US$2.2 billion, including four A340-600s, five A330-200s passenger aircraft and three A330-200-F freighters.
EA's chief executive James Hogan, and Louis Gallois, Airbus president and CEO signed the agreement here on Monday. The new aircraft will be delivered between 2008 and 2011.
Currently, Etihad operates a fleet of 21 Airbus aircraft, with 11 deliveries outstanding. Taking the latest order into account, the Etihad Airbus fleet will grow to 44 aircraft.
"This aircraft order will enable Etihad to continue its impressive route network growth which now stands at 43 global destinations. Each Airbus aircraft within the new order has been specifically chosen to fit our ambitious development plans," said James Hogan, Etihad chief executive.
"Etihad is one of the world's dynamic airlines and we're delighted we are continuing to build on our partnership. I am particularly proud about Etihad's faith in our A340 aircraft, which really do offer outstanding performance and unparalleled levels of passenger comfort. I am also delighted Etihad have chosen the A330 which is simply the leading aircraft type in this sector," said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers.
The A330-200F freighter can carry 64 metric tonnes over 4,000 nautical miles/7,400 kilometres or 69 metric tonnes up to 3,200 nautical miles/5,930 kilometres. With unrivalled volume and range capacity in its class and flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes for maximum interlining capability, the A330-200F offers new and established cargo operators to offer new routes with the most modern and economically efficient freighter aircraft.
The A340-600 is the largest member of Airbus' A330/A340 Family, and is the most modern aircraft in the 250-375-seater segment flying today. With four engines, the A340 offers unrivalled operational economics and flexibility on ultra-long-haul non-stop routes over remote oceans and terrains such as mountain ranges and the polar regions.