This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Just six years ago Etihad Airways was on the fast track to becoming a serious global airline player, it had placed orders for dozens of aircraft and was investing in airlines around the world to build out its partner network and potentially build an airline alliance of its own. But the recent times have not treated the carrier well — its run into serious financial issues, and many of the airlines it bankrolled fell apart or declared bankruptcy.
Etihad’s continually worked on cutting costs in an effort to tide the losses, and we’ve just seen another iteration of that — the airline has essentially canceled 76 orders for widebody aircraft, Reuters reports.
The Abu Dhabi based airline reportedly “restructured” its orders with both Boeing and Airbus, and the airline says it will now receive just a sliver of what it originally ordered.
The airline said it has “committed” to take delivery of just five Airbus A350-1000s, that’s down from the 40 A350-900s and 22 A350-1000s it had on order from European airline manufacturer.
Boeing had secured 25 orders from Etihad for its soon to be released 777X aircraft — specifically eight 777-8s and 17 777-9s. Etihad negotiated that down to just six 777-9s.
Less was revealed about its Boeing 787s, 29 of which are already in its fleet. Etihad reportedly has 43 more Dreamliners on order that were part of its original plan. It did not cancel any of the 26 A321neos it had on order.
The airline currently has a fleet of 112 aircraft, which includes 10 A380s — a plane without a bright future as Airbus just announced its ending the superjumbo program. In addition to its Dreamliners and A380s, its widebody fleet is rounded out by 16 Airbus A330s and 25 Boeing 777s.
Etihad told Reuters that it had “reached agreements with Airbus and Boeing to not disclose details of the order changes.” Etihad isn’t publicly canceling these orders, but by only committing to taking delivery of 37 aircraft out of the original 113 (not including the Dreamliners), it’s silently communicating that it’s seriously downsizing its growth plans.
We’ve reached out to Etihad for comment regarding its fleet plans but have yet to receive a response.
Etihad is a TPG staff and reader favorite. Its premium cabins offer some of the best products in the sky.
It has one of the less talked about but more valuable loyalty currencies out there are. TPG values Etihad Guest Miles at 1.4 cents each, and the program has some great sweet spots for redemptions with partners like American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc. You can transfer points from Capital One, Citi Thank You and Amex Memberships Rewards to Etihad Guest.
The airline may be best known for its opulence, notably the ultra-lux Etihad Residence, which features a private bedroom, sitting room, and shower.
Featured image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards