Etihad Airways orders 82 wide-body Boeing aircraft

    By IANS/WAM,

    Abu Dhabi : Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sunday announced a firm order for 56 new Boeing wide-body aircraft, with options and purchase rights for a further 26, to support its continued global expansion.

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    The order represents an investment of up to $25.2 billion at list prices, including related engines.

    The deal, unveiled at the Dubai Air show 2013, which got under way Sunday, includes 25 next-generation Boeing 777X aircraft, of which 17 are 777-9X and eight are 777-8X aircraft.

    Etihad Airways is the first airline to order the 777-8X and will be a launch customer for the aircraft which is expected to enter service around the end of the decade.

    The airline also ordered 30 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.

    Sunday’s announcement makes Etihad Airways the largest airline customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner when combined with its previous orders for 41 of the Boeing 787-9 variant, and will include the milestone 1,000th Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be ordered. It also ordered one Boeing 777-200 freighter.

    “This is a significant, timely and essential order for us, as we celebrate our tenth anniversary and plan for our next decade and beyond,” James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said.

    “In just 10 years, we have grown from a start-up carrier to a global airline. This order enables us to build upon our achievements, using the next generation of aircraft to support our next generation of development,” he added.

    Ray Conner, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said, his company was proud of its relationship with Etihad Airways, which began nine years ago with an order for five 777-300ERs.

    “It is gratifying that as one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Etihad Airways continues to have confidence in Boeing’s products by selecting the 777X and by increasing its order for the 787 Dreamliner. We look forward to further strengthening this partnership as Etihad Airways continues to build its position as a forerunner in the global aviation industry,” he said.