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Earlier this week, Etihad Airways announced its decision to retire all Boeing 777 aircraft. As a result, the company’s fleet will look rather different in the near future.
It was previously announced that Etihad is also likely to say goodbye to its entire Airbus A380 fleet.
All Boeing 777 aircraft retired
Etihad wants to take all Boeing 777 aircraft out of service by the end of 2021. A spokesman for the airline says the future is primarily going to be focused around the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 aircraft.
Etihad currently has a fleet of 19 Boeing 777 aircraft with an average age of 10 years. The airline previously took 11 Boeing 777s out of the fleet, including 6 Boeing 777-300ERs and 5 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
By taking out 19 aircraft, the fleet will be significantly smaller. Given that most of these Boeing 777 aircraft have First Class cabins onboard, the number of routes offering First Class willl be significantly reduced in future.
What will the fleet look like?
When all A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft are no longer operating, the long-haul fleet will be quite different. Etihad currently has 39 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, 30 of which are Boeing 787-9 and a further 9 Boeing 787-10. The company has also ordered a total of 20 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
However, the latter aircraft have not yet been delivered. In addition, Etihad also has an order for a number of Boeing 777-900 aircraft. Given these uncertain times, it may well be that this order will be cancelled.
Etihad will retire all of its 19 Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of the year. Since the airline already has plans to say goodbye to all its A380s, the fleet will look completely different. It’s hard to imagine that soon there will only be Boeing 787 Dreamliners in Etihad’s long-haul fleet. No one could have foreseen that just a few years ago.