DUBAI: Etihad renews faith in A350-1000

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Etihad Airways’ renewed commitment to the Airbus A350-1000 follows its decision last year to cancel more than half of its order for 25 of the type.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline had ordered the A350-1000 before the type’s redesign, changes about which Etihad – like other Gulf customers at the time – had expressed reservations.

But Etihad chief James Hogan, during the Dubai air show, brushed off the cancellation of 13 of the jets as a “timing issue”.

“We’re committed to the aircraft,” says Hogan, adding that he was “confident” in the A350-1000 – hence the decision to take 10 of the type.

Etihad is also ordering 40 A350-900s. The airline is to acquire 24 A350s in a regional configuration, Hogan adds.

The regional version is designed for customers who would prefer to sacrifice range for other payload and performance benefits. This involves offering the type with derated Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powerplants.

Etihad is also ordering 36 A320neo single-aisle jets – a mix of 26 A321neos and 10 A320neos.

While its current A320s are powered by International Aero Engines V2500s, the carrier has defected to CFM International’s Leap-1A engine for the A321neo portion of the deal.