Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates has signed a firm order for two additional A330-200F freighter aircraft to meet their growth plans in the cargo market. The airline was a launch customer and the launch operator of the A330-200F, having taken delivery of its first aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2010. Today’s order will increase the fleet of the airline’s cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, to four A330-200F freighters.
“We are strongly committed to building our presence in the cargo sector with the platform of Abu Dhabi as our hub to connect global trade lanes,” Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Hogan, said. “The A330-200F has been a key part of our recent success in the market. We are very pleased with its high reliability and versatility, and that’s why we are keen to expand this fleet type,” he said.
“This repeat order by Etihad underlines the key role the A330-200F is playing alongside larger freighters. The A330-200F enables Etihad to optimise its network by addressing markets which do not make business sense with large freighters,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “In a challenging economic environment, with high fuel prices and yields under pressure, the A330-200F helps match capacity neatly with demand which allows for efficient cargo operations.”
The A330-200F, which has just celebrated a successful first year of efficient operation with a high operational reliability topping 99.5%, can carry up to 70 tonnes of payload and offer a range of up to 4,000nm. Nine A330-200F freighters are now flying with four operators in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
The A330 Family, which spans 200 to 400 seats for the passenger variants, also includes Freighter, VIP, and Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) variants, and has attracted close to 1,200 orders.