Etihad Airways operates one of the youngest and most environmentally-efficient aircraft fleets in the world.
The airline began life with the largest-ever start-up fleet order, announced in 2004, for 29 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with a total value of US$8 billion.
Today, its fleet has grown to 67 aircraft, including six cargo-only freighters. There are a further three aircraft currently scheduled for delivery by the end of 2012, taking the airline’s fleet to 70.
The current fleet is split between Airbus (with 53 aircraft) and Boeing (14 aircraft). The backbone of the passenger fleet is the Airbus A330 - Etihad Airways has 22 of these today.
In 2007, Etihad brought in the first narrow-body aircraft into the fleet and it now has 15 Airbus A320s and two Airbus A319s, serving regional short-haul routes.
This is part of the strategy of building a balanced fleet of both wide-body and narrow-body aircraft, as Etihad adds to its regional network.
In November 2007, Etihad agreed financing facilities worth nearly US$ 400 million to acquire three Airbus A340-600 aircraft. The airline’s innovative approach to financing for one of the aircraft – using a French tax lease structure, with Calyon and BNP Paribas-Capstar Partners – was recognised by Air Finance Journal as the ‘Middle East Deal of the Year’.
In 2008, the airline signalled its intent to support its long-term growth plans by placing one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history at the Farnborough International Airshow.
It comprised firm orders for 55 Airbus and 45 Boeing aircraft; 55 options and 50 purchase rights. The new aircraft have been scheduled for delivery between 2011 and 2020 and when delivered will give the national airline of the United Arab Emirates a fleet of 156 aircraft.