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Etihad shrugs off A330 freighter inactivity

Etihad Airways is shrugging off the apparent inactivity of half its dedicated freighter fleet, insisting that the situation is part of a normal review of capacity requirements.

Flight Fleets Analyzer indicates that Etihad Cargo's five A330-200Fs have been put into storage. At least two of the five aircraft appear to have been flown to the United Arab Emirates airport of Al Ain earlier this month.

But Etihad Airways stresses that its cargo division – which it credits with generating around $1 billion in annual revenue – is still operating, although it has not confirmed how many of its freighters are being used for regular services.

"It is normal airline industry business practice to continuously review aircraft requirements and to make modifications to the fleet when and where necessary," the carrier states, without elaborating.

Flight Fleets Analyzer lists all five of Etihad's Boeing 777Fs as active.

The Abu Dhabi airline has focused its A330 freighter operations on European, Indian, Asia-Pacific and African destinations.

It took delivery of its fifth A330-200F – registered A6-DCE – less than a year ago, towards the end of February 2017, complementing the fleet of 777Fs, which have typically been assigned to European, Chinese and African services and to destinations in the Americas.

Hold space on Etihad's passenger services is also used by the cargo operation.

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