Etihad Restructures Airbus, Boeing Widebody Orders

 - February 14, 2019, 9:44 AM

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways on Thursday confirmed it has completed fleet renegotiations with Airbus and Boeing following a so-called strategic review that resulted in a decision to slow and/or cut widebody deliveries. The new agreements will see Etihad take delivery “over the coming years” of just five Airbus A350-1000s and six Boeing 777-9s, far fewer than reflected in the firm orders it placed at the 2013 Dubai Air Show. It said it expects to take all 26 Airbus A321neos on order.  

“The balance of the remaining orders will be defined at a later time through rescheduling, restructuring, or reduction,” said the airline in a statement. “This will enable the airline to further progress its transformation and adjust to its new operating model...and their satisfactory outcome.”

In 2013 Etihad placed orders for 40 A350-900s along with 10 A350-1000s. At the time it said planned to take the first -900 in 2020. That same year Etihad ordered 17 Boeing 777-9s and eight 777-8s. Thursday’s statement indicated it would continue to take deliveries of Boeing 787s, although it did not disclose whether or not the original terms remained intact. Etihad, which now flies 29 Dreamliners, ordered thirty 787-10s at the 2013 Dubai show. At the time it had already placed orders for forty-one 787-9s.

“Etihad Aviation Group and each of the manufacturers agreed not to disclose details of the agreements and expressed their mutual appreciation for the constructive discussions,” it said.

The airline said the restructuring would allow it to concentrate on the phased introduction of new aircraft types and enable “efficient rationalization” of its fleet, as it shifts its focus to its Abu Dhabi hub from a more aggressive, global growth strategy.