MIDDLE EAST: Etihad mulling more planes

Etihad Airways will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) next year for an aircraft order “of a good size,” CEO James Hogan said recently according to an ATWOnline report. Th e order will be for both short and long-haul types and will be for “at least 20-25 aircraft,” he said without revealing further details. “Th […]


Etihad Airways will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) next year for an aircraft order “of a good size,” CEO James Hogan said recently according to an ATWOnline report.

Th e order will be for both short and long-haul types and will be for “at least 20-25 aircraft,” he said without revealing further details. “Th e order will cover in part the recycle needs of our current fleet and in part incremental requirements,” he added.

Hogan added that it is premature to conclude if Etihad will move toward an all-Airbus fleet. Its widebody fleet currently comprises 12, A330-200s, six A340s, five B777-300ERs and one B767-300.

It just added its first three wet-leased A320s as part of a strategy to create regional connectivity through its Abu Dhabi hub feeding into its long-haul network.

Three more A320s are expected by the end of the 2008 first quarter. In June it placed an order for four A340-600s, five A330 passenger aircraft and three A330 freighters.

Separately, Etihad announced it carried more than 3.3 million passengers during the first nine months of 2007 compared to 1.95 million for the same period in 2006, an increase of 70 per cent with an average 75 per cent load factor across its 44-destination network.