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Etihad Cancels 42 Airbus A350s

: Feb 15, 2019 - : 2:48 am

Etihad Airways cut its A350 order by 42 aircraft, leaving the airline with 20 A350-1000s in the backlog. It also cut down on order for Boeing 777-9 aircraft from 25 to just 6 jets.


This slash in orders worth US$21.4bn at list prices for Boeing Co and Airbus SE jetliners is seen as the airline’s step towards drastic restructuring after years of operational losses. “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.”

Airbus disclosed that it has held “commercial discussions” with Etihad, to “reduce” its order, in its full-year financial results. Etihad had 40 A350-900s and 22 A350-1000s on order at the end of January, so the cuts amount to the entire -900 order plus two -1000s.


With the cancellation of US$1.1bn worth of A320neos last month, Abu Dhabi-based has taken US$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, when it said it would shut down the older A380 superjumbo programme after a dozen years.


Another report from Reuters quoted the airline stating that it would commit to taking delivery of just five A350-1000s and 26 of their A321neos ‘over the coming years’. This goes on to suggest that they may be looking at further A350 order cancellations in the future, as well as the 42 we know of today.


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.


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