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Etihad orders two A330s, postpones Addis Ababa, and announces Hong Kong codeshare with Air Seychelles
Published: 30/10/2012 RSS
Etihad Airways has signed a firm order for two additional A330-200 passenger aircraft, worth $148 million at current list prices, which are due to be delivered in January and March 2014.
Airbus said the airline has also converted seven of its previously ordered A320s to the larger A321 model, with the first due in November 2013.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways' President and CEO, said it feels the A330-200 is "the right fleet type" to meet its ongoing network expansion. Etihad currently has 16 Airbus A330-200 and six A330-300 passenger aircraft.
John Leahy, Airbus' Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said its upgraded A330s offer higher weight variants and more payload-range capability.
The new A330-200s will be configured with 22 Pearl Business lie-flat beds and 240 Coral economy seats. Click here to see a seatplan of the new A330-200.
Etihad Airways operates its existing A330-200s on routes to Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tripoli, Brisbane, Singapore, Chengdu, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Beijing.
In a separate, and surprising development, Etihad today confirmed it has been forced to postpone the launch of its flights to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority rejected the airline’s application for the required operating permit. The five times weekly service was scheduled to commence on November 2.
"Over a period of six months, the UAE Government has held several meetings to resolve this situation, with the final meeting in Addis Ababa ending in failure last week," a statement reads. "We will continue to push for terms of the MoU to be honoured."
Etihad also announced today it will start codeshare services to Hong Kong in February, subject to regulatory approval.
The three return services per week between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong will be operated by Air Seychelles on a two-class A330-200 aircraft.
For more information, visit etihad.com
Report by Dominic Ellis