Etihad bets big on Boeing 777X and 787-10 Dreamliner

By David Flynn, November 17 2013
Etihad bets big on Boeing 777X and 787-10 Dreamliner

55 of Boeing's next-generation jets will join Etihad Airways' international fleet, from the high-capacity Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to the forthcoming Boeing 777X family, in a staggering order with a list price of some US$25.2 billion.

The gulf carrier is the first airline to sign up for the Boeing 777-8X, inking a deal to take eight of the -8X planes starting from 2022 plus 17 of the larger 777-9X from 2020.

The 777X family represents a leap ahead for Boeing's 777 and incorporates some of the design and technology from the 787 Dreamliner including composite carbon-fibre wings.

The Boeing 777-9X is a stretched and more fuel-efficient version of Boeing's largest current aircraft, the 777-300ER, capable of flying the same distance but with up to 40 more passengers – Boeing lists the typical configuration as carrying 400 passengers – while delivering reduced fuel consumption and lower operating costs.

The Boeing 777-8X is a smaller version of the -9X but with greater range.

Other 777X sign-ups include launch customer Lufthansa with 34 airplanes, Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with a massive 150 on the order book.

Boeing 787-10, too

Also on Etihad's shopping list: 30 of the super-stretched Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, which has already attracted orders from launch customer Singapore Airlines along with BA and United Airlines. Etihad expects to get its first 787-10 in 2018.

The 787-10 is the largest version of the Dreamliner family, "typically carrying more than 320 passengers" Etihad says. That compares to to a minimum of 210 seats on the original 787-8 and 250-290 for the longer 787-9, although the -10's added length is more about maximizing carrying capacity for passengers and cargo rather than extending its flight range.

"This is a significant, timely and essential order for us, as we celebrate our tenth anniversary and plan for our next decade and beyond" said Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan.

"In just 10 years, we have grown from a start-up carrier to a global airline. This order enables us to build upon our achievements, using the next generation of aircraft to support our next generation of development."

That's not too shabby for an airline for an airline which Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce slapped this year, saying a proposed Qantas alliance with Etihad instead of Emirates as "being offered a bike before a BMW".

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Meanwhile, they are still thinking whether to fly Air Seychelles or Etihad to Hong Kong. I love Etihad, but there's no point if I can't directly fly it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 231

Emirates have bet bigger - 150 777X aircrafts!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Nov 2013

Total posts 28

Where is a Qantas order for any of the new jets on offer? With the middle eastern airlines placing such large orders Qantas could end up having to wait 5 to 10 years for any production slots to be available so it needs to place orders now. Emirates has ordered a further 50 A380s not because it needs them now but for future expansion and to replace jets already in their fleet. Qantas still has jets that are 20 years old that are gradually being phased out but it needs to have an ongong number of aircraft on order otherwise in 5 years time it will still have jets that are 20 years.  The old jets can't compete with the fuel efficient fleets of competing overseas airlines. Qantas management need to be pro-active on their fleet management.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2209

They need those 787-9s. Badly. Very badly.

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