Etihad Airways continue to expand their global fleet, unveiling a sizeable Airbus order for 50 A350 XWB jets, and 36 A320 neo family aircraft, while also launching daily services from Abu Dhabi to Zurich.
With the Airbus order also including an A330-200F freighter, the order totals US$26.9 billion at list prices, giving the airline an astounding US$51.1 billion order book following yesterday's Boeing 777X and 787-10 announcement.
From 2018 onwards, Etihad will begin to receive 26 A321neo aircraft and 10 A320neo birds, while from 2020, 40 A350-900s and 10 A350-1000s will begin to make an appearance.
Daily Zurich flights
In Zurich, the airline has taken a 33.3% stake in Darwin Airline – which is now set to rebrand as Etihad Regional, and will be linked to the main Etihad network by a daily service from Abu Dhabi from June 1, 2014.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "This is a step-change for Etihad Airways. With our new partner Darwin Airline, we are creating a unique approach to network development for global airlines."
"European travellers will now be able to connect from a far, far wider range of European towns and cities on Etihad-branded aircraft, through Abu Dhabi to our destinations worldwide."
"We are also linking the new Etihad Regional network into the key hubs of our equity alliance partners, bringing benefits to the customers of airberlin and Air Serbia."
The current 'Darwin Airline' will adopt the Etihad Guest loyalty program.
Particularly significant for both Airbus and Etihad this month is the 10 year anniversary of the airline's inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi – operated by an Airbus A330.
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