Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, announced the carrier is considering plans to delay the delivery schedule of A380 aircraft and bring forward the delivery of other aircraft, as part of its target to reach profitability by the end of 2011 (Bloomberg, 11-Mar-2010). The delivery of A380s has already been delayed from late 2012 to 2013, while Etihad will continue to monitor this delivery schedule as per its plans. The carrier plans to take delivery of three A330s in 2010.
Etihad Airways may again delay A380 delivery schedule
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Lufthansa and Etihad: equity tie up could further align mutual strategy, but marriage unlikely
Greater cooperation between Lufthansa and Etihad reflects their local and global challenges growing in quantity and complexity. Contact between the two has led to speculation that the partnership could radically expand to include an equity tie up, with rumoured merger talks.
Their initial Dec-2016 codeshare announcement was, in practical terms, small but showed the possibility, as they stated, to expand cooperation. However, it would be a leap to go from their handful of codeshares to a 17-Jan-2017 article from Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero that Etihad could invest in Lufthansa on the way to a possible merger between the two. A subsequent denial in a Reuters story that "A financial stake is out of the question at the moment", does little to dispel the rumour. Were it not for the last three words of that statement the rumour would lack credibility.
There is certainly logic for a deeper partnership - and the two have danced this waltz before. Equity involvement from airlines can cement partnerships, add to board influence and partially allow one side to gain financially from any matter it feels it is compromising away. Nevertheless, there are obstacles to a full blown merger, and even to Etihad's taking a 30% to 40% stake. A marriage between the new bedfellows does not seem an immediate prospect. Nonetheless the logic is there for a move; and the mere fact of a potential move is sufficient to rock the equilibrium.
Global Fleet Outlook: Deliveries peak, as order highs decline.
Airlines are set to add more new aircraft than ever before in 2017. After years of record ordering and building backlogs, aircraft manufacturers are making good on their promises to ramp up production. The industry is enjoying record levels of growth and profitability; with solid passenger market fundamentals, and both airlines and leasing companies having access to ready liquidity, cheap debt and plentiful equity capital, making financing fleet orders easier than at any time before the global financial crisis.