Etihad Airways has announced its intention to purchase five Boeing 777-200LRs aircraft from Air India.
The purchase of this longest range passenger aircraft in operation is expected to add fuel to the airline’s network growth plan.
Earlier this week, Etihad Airways and Air India signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in Mumbai paving the way for the deal. The 777-200LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, starting 1 June 2014.
Subject to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three-class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the airline’s current fleet. The first aircraft is expected to enter service in April 2014.
“The Boeing 777-200LR is a fantastic addition, giving us extra reach immediately and complementing our long term fleet strategy. Our continued strong organic growth, boosted by the impact of our equity partners, has opened up new opportunities for additional destinations,” James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways.
The five Air India 777-200LR purchased by Etihad Airways is on average six-years old, and will add to Etihad existing fleet of 17 Boeing 777-300ER.