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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad orders 12 Boeing jets for $2.8B

Etihad will buy 10 additional 787-9 Dreamliners; Orders makes Etihad world's largest customers of the 787-9; Carrier says will also buy two 777 Freighters

December 12, 2011 1:14 by

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will buy 12 planes from Boeing, including 10 787-9 Dreamliners, in a deal valued at $2.8 billion at current list prices, the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The new orders makes Etihad the world’s largest customer of the fuel-efficient 787-9 with a total of 41 on order.

It also bought two Boeing 777 Freighters, taking the number of 777s in its fleet to 21.

Reuters reported exclusively last month, citing sources, that Etihad had agreed the deal with Boeing, and the two parties steered clear of announcing the purchase at the Dubai Airshow, which was dominated byEtihad’s Gulf-based rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad said on Monday that it also had options and purchase rights for 25 more 787s.

“Both the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter offer highly attractive operating economics and will facilitate our global expansion plans by allowing us to transport passengers and cargo into new markets from our hub in Abu Dhabi,” Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said in the statement.

The 787-9 will be initially used on Etihad’s routes to destinations including Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Nagoya, Delhi and Istanbul, the carrier said.

Etihad had a muted presence at the airshow in neighbouring emirate Dubai last month, where more than $62 billion in civil aerospace and defence orders were placed.

Emirates ordered 50 wide-body 777 jetliners at the show in a deal valued at $18 billion, which was the Boeing’s largest-ever single-order deal.

Boeing, on track to notch its highest number of commercial aircraft orders since 2007, is working to bag what many experts say are the last available orders in a buying spree by US operators.

The world’s second-largest planemaker after Europe’s Airbus is deep in talks with United Continental Holdings , FedEx and Southwest Airlines for orders for several hundred airplanes, according to industry experts and sources with knowledge of the order negotiations.

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