Etihad Airways Eyes New Aircraft Order

Daniel Fowkes
07 May 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
An Etihad Airways Airbus A350-1000 in long term storage awaiting delivery to the airline

Etihad Airways is currently eyeing a relatively small aircraft purchase from either Airbus or Boeing as part of upcoming growth plans within the company.

As the carrier expands through Journey 2030, the requirement for new aircraft will be high. The carrier will leverage its ongoing relationship with manufacturers and leasing companies to secure new aircraft.

Reuters reports that the new jets could include many types, from widebodies to narrowbodies. The new aircraft will generally serve various purposes but align with the company’s fleet goals.

Securing aircraft sooner rather than later has become a common theme as airlines scramble to lock down delivery slots. Waiting presents risks as aircraft lines begin being sold out through the 2030s. Therefore, customers may need to look towards the leasing market for more short-term solutions. However, as more head to the leasing market, this area becomes significantly oversaturated.

Interestingly, Etihad’s CEO clarified that the order wouldn’t be big as they focus on the availability of aircraft not being taken up by their original customer or have seen delivery rescheduled.

A strategy shift sees Etihad move away from its ambitious early-2010s expansion, which led it to lose billions. This rapid expansion saw Etihad grow its fleet and investment in airlines too quickly. Ultimately, the airline had too many aircraft, made too many poor investments and thus became unprofitable. Under new leadership, the hope is that Journey 2030 will be conducted in a much more thought-out manner.

Journey 2030

Etihad Airways Journey 2030 plan was unveiled in 2023 to expand the business considerably across the next several years.

Journey 2030 will see the airline look to cement its role in the Middle East as a leader in air travel. Expanding to over 125 destinations will also focus on growing the global footprint.

Etihad Airways believes utilising Abu Dhabi as a geographical hub offers more potential, and a larger fleet is required to make the ambitions a reality. The carrier says it’ll expand its fleet to over 160 aircraft by 2030, representing the second fleet expansion in company history.

Etihad Airways Airbus A350-1000

Additionally, Etihad wants to attract 10 million point-to-point travellers to the United Arab Emirates by 2030. Similarly to other companies in the region, the airline wants to offer greater economic benefits through its services.

As part of these plans, the requirement for new aircraft is present. Etihad Airways wants to lock down these contracts sooner rather than later.

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