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Tue 4 Mar 2014 10:49 AM

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Etihad to unveil A380 interior in 8 weeks

Abu Dhabi airline to showcase “something unique” and "quite spectacular" at ATM

Etihad to unveil A380 interior in 8 weeks

UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways is to unveil the much anticipated inside of its new A380 planes at the ATM show in Dubai in May this year, Arabian Business can reveal.

Speaking to Arabian Business, president and CEO James Hogan said the first Etihad Airways A380 flight is likely to take place in the first week of December this year, between Abu Dhabi and London.

“What we will show is something very special, very unique. We have been waiting a long time and developing something that we believe is quite spectacular and different from what you see inside all the other airlines currently flying the A380,” Hogan said.

It is understood that Etihad will also use the annual travel exhibition to showcase for the first time the inside of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The global travel show is taking place on May 5-8 in Dubai.

In November, 2013, coinciding with its tenth anniversary, Etihad Airways signalled its long-term growth intentions when it announced the largest fleet order in its history, for up to 199 aircraft and 294 engines, at a current list price of approximately $67bn.

Firm orders were announced for 87 Airbus and 56 Boeing aircraft, with 56 options and purchase rights to support additional growth opportunities, not only for Etihad Airways, but potentially for members of its airline equity alliance. The new aircraft deals also include rights to defer deliveries if required.

Combined with existing orders, including 41 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10 Airbus A380 super jumbos and 12 Airbus A350XWB (extra wide body), the November fleet announcement increased the airline’s pipeline of new aircraft on firm order to more than 220.

In 2014, Etihad Airways plans to introduce 18 new aircraft, including its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 super jumbo, both of which are scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter. The airline also concluded late in December an agreement to acquire five Boeing 777-200LR jets from Air India to help accelerate network growth.

On Monday, Hogan announced the carrier had achieved a third consecutive year of profit, with net profit rising 48 percent to $62m in 2013. Total revenues rose 27 percent to $6.1bn.

The record performance also saw earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 22 percent to $208m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals (EBITDAR) up 30 percent to $979m, a margin of 16 percent of total revenues.

Passenger numbers rose 12 percent 11.5m and Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) – measuring passenger journeys - increased by 16 percent to 55.5bn.

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