Etihad Cargo has taken delivery of a new Boeing 777 freighter which will enable the freight arm of Etihad Airways to continue its expansion plans into 2016.
The aircraft becomes the 11th freighter in the fleet and entered commercial service on Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi-based airline said in a statement, adding that a second aircraft will arrive in March.
Etihad Cargo announced it would take delivery of two additional aircraft at the Dubai Air Show last year, and they form part of the $67 billion fleet order that was made in 2013 for 199 aircraft.
The two additional freighter aircraft are valued at $637 million at list prices and the second freighter is expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi this month.
Both new aircraft will come equipped with nine seats allowing Etihad Cargo to carry additional grooms as part of its Sky Stables programme, which supports high value equine movement and will be the first aircraft in the Etihad Cargo fleet to be equipped in this way.
Sky Stables is supervised by dedicated managers, supported by handling teams both in the air and on the ground, with horses currently being moved to destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
Kevin Knight, chief strategy and planning officer for Etihad Airways, said: “The additional freighter gives us the opportunity to expand our specialist cargo services and grow our market share. Over the last year, we have been expanding into South America, Africa and Asia and the new aircraft will enhance capacity and enable us to increase frequency across our scheduled network, but importantly also increase our charter opportunities to growth areas of the world.”
In its existing fleet, Etihad Cargo currently operates three Boeing 777Fs, three Boeing 747s and four Airbus A330s.
The Etihad Cargo division generates over $1 billion in revenue annually and reported strong cargo volumes for 2015, with 592,090 tonnes of freight and mail flown in total, a four percent increase over 2014’s figures.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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