Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it would take delivery of two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft.
The decision to exercise the options, which were part of Etihad Airways’ historic US$67 billion mixed fleet order for 199 aircraft in 2013, was unveiled on the opening day of the Dubai Air Show.
The additional aircraft, valued at US$637 million at list prices, are due for delivery next year. They will be part of Etihad Cargo, the airline’s freighter arm, which currently operates three Boeing 777Fs, three Boeing 747s and four Airbus A330s.Etihad Cargo serves 11 freighter-only destinations worldwide from its Abu Dhabi hub and has freighter capacity on Etihad Airways’ fleet of 109 passenger aircraft.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is delighted to exercise options for two freighters that will join our fleet next year, demonstrating our confidence and commitment to our partners at Boeing and to the global freight market.
“As we continue growing our freighter fleet and network, together with our partners we are able to provide a comprehensive, extensive and compelling global offering for the benefit of our customers.”
“We value our partnership with Etihad Airways and are honoured they continue to place their trust in our products,” said Ray Conner, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“The Boeing 777 Freighter, the world’s longest twin-engine freighter, continues to have unmatched efficiency which translates into significant savings for our customers.”
Etihad Cargo is an integral part of Etihad Airways’ business worth more than US$1 billion last year with 568,000 tonnes of freight carried, up 17 per cent on 2013.
Etihad Airways’ wide network of cargo-only destinations includes include Houston, Guangzhou, Bogota, Chittagong and Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, with more routes planned next year.
Etihad Cargo has been recognised by leading international freight publications with a number of awards this year, including Best Cargo Airline Middle East, Cargo Operator of the Year and Cargo Airline of the Year.