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Etihad Airways CEO considers buying small number of Airbus & Boeing jets

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Etihad Airways intends to increase the number of narrow- and wide-body aircraft in its fleet from about 80 to 150 over the course of the next five years

According to the Etihad Airways CEO, the company would take into consideration purchasing a limited number of aircraft from Airbus and Boeing over the next five years, if delivery slots become available.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline intends to increase the number of narrow- and wide-body aircraft in its fleet from about 80 to 150 over the course of the next five years. This entails adding 10 to 15 new aircraft annually.

A portion of the additional aircraft will need to be obtained from the leasing market and aircraft manufacturers, but the majority will be added through current orders for Airbus A320 and A350 family jets, along with Boeing 787.

Etihad Airways is in negotiations with lessors and aircraft manufacturers, according to CEO Antonoaldo Neves, in an effort to acquire more aircraft to complement those that will be supplied from current orders.

Speaking about delivery slots that other airlines had cancelled or rescheduled, he stated the airline was interested in purchasing new aircraft directly from manufacturers.

However, Antonoaldo Neves claimed Etihad Airways wouldn’t make a sizable order.

“I’m a big believer in fleet flexibility. I don’t like to lock in big orders,” he told Reuters in an interview at the Arabian Travel Market tourism trade exhibition in Dubai.

“I’ve learnt the best thing we can do is have an order book that is sizeable but does not define the entire future,” the official stated further.

Airline companies have placed large orders for aircraft that will not be delivered for many years, while plane makers have a massive backlog of aircraft that need attention.

On the other hand, due to problems with the supply chain, Airbus and Boeing have both had difficulty meeting delivery dates; Boeing’s production has decreased as a result of more frequent quality checks and government audits.

Boeing reorganised its leadership, following several safety-related incidents that undermined industry trust.

After visiting Boeing recently, Antonoaldo Neves stated he was impressed with the US planemaker’s initiatives for 787 delivery dates.

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