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Etihad Airways to purchase five 777-200LRs from Air India

10-Oct-2013 10:38 AM

Etihad Airways announced (09-Oct-2013) its intention to purchase from Air India five Boeing 777-200LRs to support its accelerated network growth plan. The two carriers signed a LoI earlier this week paving the way for the deal. The 777-200LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles which starts on 01-Jun-2014. Etihad Airways currently operates to New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Toronto in North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil, and has stated its ambition to add new services to both continents. Subject to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways fleet. It is expected the first aircraft will enter service in Apr-2014. The purchase comes as Etihad Airways finalises details on a new fleet order which will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with its rolling network plan. Etihad Airways president and CEO James Hogan said: “The Boeing 777-200LR is a fantastic addition, giving us extra reach immediately and complementing our long term fleet strategy. Our continued strong organic growth, boosted by the impact of our equity partners, has opened up new opportunities for additional destinations. We are looking forward to starting direct services to Los Angeles, as well as increasing our flying to South America. This is the aircraft to do that.” The five Air India 777-200LR aircraft, which Etihad Airways is purchasing are, on average, six years old. Etihad Airways’ current fleet will reach 87 aircraft by year end, with 14 new deliveries from aircraft manufacturers during 2013.  [more - original PR]