By Courtney Trenwith
Airline paid about $350m for the 777-200LRs and will take on existing loan payments
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has bought five second-hand
aircraft from Air India to help it meet demand while it awaits the arrival of
The airline paid about $350m for the 777-200LRs and will
take on existing loan payments, an Air India official told The Hindu newspaper
Air India, the national carrier, had paid $115m-120m for
each aircraft in 2007 but they were losing the airline money, the official
They were due to be delivered sometime between January 15
Etihad president and CEO James Hogan confirmed the sale
to Arabian Business.
“We will... take delivery of five Boeing 777-200LR
aircraft from India, to bridge our growth requirements until the arrival of
our next wave of new long-haul aircraft beyond 2020,” Hogan wrote in a piece
for the Arabian Business magazine.
“Etihad Airways is an airline on the move, and an airline
which is growing to meet changing traffic flows between established markets and
emerging regions including India, Africa, China, Southeast Asia and the Middle
Etihad, which celebrated its tenth anniversary
last year, also is due to take delivery of 20 new aircraft this year, including
its first Airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
The airline already has announced eight new destinations
to be launched this year.
Late last year Indian authorities approved Etihad’s
purchase of 24 percent of Jet Airways – the country’s first investment by a
foreign carrier in the aviation sector.
Actually, Gulf Air started & invested in Jet Airways back in the 80's, and was forced to sell there shares when the Indian parlement introduced a law forbidding forgingers from owning shares in Indian Airlines. Now, the law is reversed, and Eitihad is an owner, but not the first .
Etihad's purchase of the 5 B777-200Lr aircrafts is a quid pro quo with Air India for the largesse dished out in the form of India-Abu Dhabi bilaterals by the Ministry Of Civil Aviation , India.
This was negotiated by the CMD of Air India Mr Rohit Nandan , as Member of the Committee that was appointed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India on India-Abu Dhabi Bilaterals, wherein Mr Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways too was a member.
The politics of Mr Ajit Singh, Minister of Civil Aviation, India surely made strange bed-fellows !