Etihad Airways slashed orders worth $21.4bn at list prices for Boeing Co and Airbus SE jetliners, pushing forward with a drastic restructuring after years of operational losses. The state-owned Gulf carrier cut its order for Boeing 777-9 aircraft to 6 jets from 25, while cancelling delivery of 42 Airbus A350 wide-bodies, leaving it with 20. While the airline will continue receiving Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Etihad said it’ll decide what to do with the rest of the original order later, “through rescheduling, restructuring or reduction.” With the cancellation of $1.1bn worth of A320neos last month, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has taken $22.5bn of orders off the table for the plane-manufacturing duopoly. The figures don’t include customary discounts that lower final prices. Airbus announced the loss of the A350s, a modern wide-body, yesterday when it said it would shut down the older A380 superjumbo programme after a dozen years.
“This will enable the airline to further progress its transformation and adjust to its new operating model,” Etihad said in a statement. The airline “can now concentrate on the phased introduction of new aircraft types, enabling an efficient rationalization of its fleet, and building a network that connects Abu Dhabi to the world.” The airline has cut thousands of positions, put the brakes on a costly expansion and scrapped marginal routes, after almost $3.5bn in losses in over two years. The airline is also being sued over an August 2017 decision to cut financial support for defunct German carrier Air Berlin. Etihad has 43 unfilled orders from the 787 family, according to Boeing’s January monthly report.
Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg, Gulf Times