Etihad shortly to get first of 10 Airbus A380 but won’t buy more of them – also getting first of 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners
Etihad Airways is about to get its first Airbus A380 and its first Boeing 787. Etihad has a total of 10 A380s on order over the next two and a half years, and now says it is not interested in ordering any more. The first starts service on 27th December, between Abu Dhabi and London, for one of its 3 flights per day. Eventually Etihad’s service to Heathrow will be an all-A380 operation. Other routes are still being identified for the A380, which will be used on flagship routes where the airports are also slot constrained. It will be used on flights from Abu Dhabi to New York, Paris and Sydney. Etihad’s A380 features an all new premium cabin dubbed “The Residence”, a 3-room suite that includes a double bed and butler service, and costs $20,000 for the trip between Abu Dhabi and London. Etihad’s first Dreamliner 787 will start service on 1st February, between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt. Etihad has 71 Dreamliners on order, 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s.
Etihad says won’t buy more A380s; Boeing 787 delayed
Thursday, Dec 18, 2014 (Zawya – Gulf News)
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways is not interested in ordering any more AirbusA380s, while the launch of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner into service has been delayed, said the airline’s James Hogan, president and chief executive, on Thursday.
“Ten A380s is the number we need. We have no discussions to acquire anymore,” he said at a press event in Abu Dhabi unveiling the airline’s first A380 and Dreamliner.
The Dreamliner has been delayed by “one to two weeks” due to “certification issues,” Hogan said.
“I would rather iron out the issues that we have so that the following aircraft are on track,” Hogan said.
He added that the issues were “minor”, however, declining to specifically comment as to whetherEtihad will seek compensation for the delay.
“What’s important to me is that we deliver the product,” he said.
Etihad has 71 Dreamliners on order, 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s.
Boeing’s Dreamliner programme has been marred by a series of in-service incidents since the first flight in December 2009; however, Etihad appears to have no concerns over the aircraft’s history of incidents.
“We are very confident the issues they’ve had have been resolved,” Hogan said.
Airbus A380, meanwhile, will enter into service on time, on December 27. Etihad has placed its first of the ten A380s on one of its three daily Abu Dhabi-London services. “Eventually, Heathrow will be an all-A380 operation,” Hogan said, adding that other routes are still being identified for the superjumbo. “[The A380] will be operating flagship routes where the airports are also slot constrained,” he said.
Etihad will receive the ten A380s over the next two-and-a-half years.
The airline has already announced the A380 will eventually be used on flights from Abu Dhabi to New York, Paris and Sydney.
Etihad’s A380 features an all new premium cabin dubbed “The Residence”, a three-room suite that includes a double bed and butler service. The Residence costs $20,000 on the Abu Dhabi-London route.
Hogan said a “travel agent from America” was the first “client” on The Residence. He also said he had received at least one inquiry from a potential passenger looking to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary.
“What we’re actually seeing is … a whole range of people wanting to take advantage of this,” Hogan added.
While Etihad is looking to rewrite the rule book on travel with its new premium class, other carriers are taking a step back. Emirates recently confirmed it will no longer just fly three-class A380s, whereby from late 2015 it will also fly two-class superjumbos.
Hogan ruled out a similar move by Etihad .
“The spec you see on-board will be the same across all day,” he said.
Etihad flew in around 200 journalists to attend Thursday’s unveiling. It flew in 50 more reporters for a press event earlier this year announcing the interiors of the two aircraft. The airline used the global media audience to unveil its new cabin crew uniform, designed by Italy’s Ettore Bilotta.
By Alexander Cornwell Staff Reporter