Etihad made a difficult decision to simplify its long-range aircraft fleet. And that includes retiring the remaining 19 Boeing 777-300ERs as well as storing the 10 Airbus A380s indefinitely.
The new reality of the Middle Eastern airline was exposed by CEO Tony Douglas during the World Aviation Festival online event this week.
“We made the decision to park our 10 A380s, which are a wonderful product, something I really enjoyed. Nonetheless, they are no longer commercially sustainable. So we have taken the difficult decision to park those machines up indefinitely.”
Douglas also explained that it also was decided “to exit, at the end of this year, the 777-300ER.”
Only the 787 Dreamliner will remain, of which Etihad currently has 39 aircraft (30 of the 787-9 variant and 10 of the 787-10).
The carrier, however, expects to have five A350-1000 ordered from Airbus and which have been stored in Bordeaux since 2019, in addition to another 15 aircraft yet to be produced.
Etihad also has an order for 25 777X jets, the new generation of the largest twin-engine passenger in the world. But the aircraft should only start to be delivered from 2023 at best.
It will not be the first time that Etihad retires a widebody. The company already stopped flying with the A340 four-engine in 2018 and retired the last A330 last year, a model that was already numerous in its fleet.
“We had got far too diversified when it came to fleet types to be operationally efficient”, justified the CEO of Etihad.