Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Etihad Airways today confirmed the airline's definitive order for five Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes valued at $1.09 billion at list price.
The airplanes will be delivered in 2005, with the first delivery scheduled for October followed by two each in November and December. They are the first Boeing airplanes Etihad has ordered, and the airline joins an expanding group of prominent carriers operating the 777 family.
"We do our utmost to meet the needs of our discerning passengers and we're pleased to be adding the 777-300ER to our fleet," said Etihad Chairman H.E. Dr. Ahmed Bin Saif Al-Nahyan. "Our objective is to build upon our status as one of the world's top-quality airlines. We believe our reputation will be enhanced even further by making the most of the 777's wide, roomy cabin to create a distinctive experience for our guests."
Etihad Airways noted that the early delivery date of these aircraft will advance its ability to provide service to new long-haul routes. The new airplanes' capacity and range will facilitate the airline's expansion to new routes in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
"We continue to see significant orders for the 777 family, reinforcing the airplane's reputation for flying long-haul routes as efficiently as possible with unrivaled interior comfort for passengers," said Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa . "Early next year, we will raise the bar even further with the introduction of the 777-200LR (Longer Range) which will set the standard for long-haul, wide-body jetliners, carrying 301 passengers in spacious comfort and flying 9,420 nautical miles with full cargo loads while achieving unmatched fuel efficiency."
In operation for just over a year, Etihad Airways is becoming known for its rapid growth and firm determination to build a national carrier operating out of Abu Dhabi that rivals the world's best international carriers. It has earned respect for its level of service and dedication to go beyond passenger expectations.
The Boeing 777 has consistently exceeded its initial performance specifications and is continually selected by passengers as the most preferred airplane in its class. The 777 dominates its market segment by a two-to-one margin, even after having been introduced two years later than its nearest competitors. Thirty-seven airlines now have ordered 665 Boeing 777s, making it the fastest selling twin-aisle airplane in history.