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Wed 18 Jan 2012 12:09 PM

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Etihad cuts Airbus A350-1000 order by six planes

Abu Dhabi-owned carrier says has retained options to buy more of the wide-body jets

Etihad cuts Airbus A350-1000 order by six planes

Etihad, the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline, said it
reduced orders of Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to 19 planes from 25 while
retaining options to buy more of the wide-body jets.

“Etihad Airways has a great deal of confidence in the A350
XWB program and we are delighted we have been able to retain attractive
delivery positions for the -1000 derivative,” the company said in an emailed
statement today.

“While we will be reducing our firm orders, our 25 options
and purchase rights for this fleet remain in place and will no doubt play a
crucial role in the airline’s growth.”

Airbus’ latest order table dated Jan 17 showed Etihad had 19
A350 planes remaining on order. Etihad has options for 25 more, the carrier
said. The A350-1000 is part of the A350 XWB program of twin-engine jetliners
that Airbus is developing and is the longest in the family.

Airbus is set to introduce in 2017 the A350 wide-body airliner,
its answer to Boeing Co.’s 777 planes.

The French planemaker had originally promised the largest
variant of the double-aisle A350-1000 for 2014 only to later delay its arrival
by three years.

It has twice delayed the introduction of the first A350-900,
a smaller version, now set to enter operation from the first half of 2014
instead of July 2013.

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