Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) today announced an order for 56 Boeing widebody airplanes with options and purchase rights for 26 additional airplanes at the start of the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
In addition, the airline has ordered 30 787-10s, the newest and largest member of the 787 Dreamliner family. When today’s order is combined with the carrier’s previous order for 41 787-9s, Etihad Airways becomes the world’s largest airline customer for the Dreamliner family with a total of 71 787s on order. The order includes options and purchase rights for an additional 12 787-10s.
Today’s announcement also marks the 1,000th order for the 787 Dreamliner family since its launch in 2004. The 787 has reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in aviation history.
Etihad’s order also includes one additional 777 Freighter for its cargo fleet, with options for two additional 777 Freighters.
According to Boeing, advanced technology including a new composite wing, all-new engines and superior aerodynamics will result in the incredible fuel efficiency promised by the 777X family.
The 777-9X, with around 400 seats, will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs over the competition. It will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane and no competitor in its market segment.
The 777-8X will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world with breakthrough economics and greater range capability than today’s 777.
The 787-10 is the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and its passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics. The 787-10 will be 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.
Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.
In addition, Etihad Airways also ordered from Airbus. Etihad Airways also announced a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neo aircraft and one A330-200F as part of its fleet modernization strategy. The contract was signed today at the 2013 Dubai Airshow by James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
The order comprises 40 A350-900s, ten A350-1000s, one A330-200F, 26 A321neo’s and 10 A320neo’s. Etihad currently operates a fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft, 25 A330s and 11 A340s. The new aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s existing long-haul fleet delivering operational efficiencies and cost savings.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized to accommodate Airbus’ 18-inch economy seat-width for long range passenger comfort, will also bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB to date has already won 764 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of October 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,487 from 44 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
The A330-200F is the all-freight version of the best-selling A330 Family. It is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter and can carry 70 tons of payload with a range capability of up to 4,000 nm. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the A330, with over 1,010 aircraft currently flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
Images: Boeing (above) and Airbus (below).