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Etihad to take two more freighters

By Hpanchal on January 27, 2012

Etihad Airways has ordered two Airbus A330-200 freighters, which will bring its fleet total to four planes. According to current list prices, the deal is worth $423 million.

The Dubai-based carrier was a launch customer for the freighter and took delivery of its first plane in 2010. Its current fleet of A330-200 freighters is used on services to Addis Ababa, Almaty, Beijing, Erbil, Frankfurt-Hahn, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Milan and Nairobi.

"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," James Hogan, Etihad's CEO, said in a statement.

The A330-200F has a 70-tonne capacity and a range of 4,000 nautical miles. Airbus sees the order as a vote of confidence for mid-size cargo planes.

“This repeat order by Etihad underlines the key role the A330-200F is playing alongside larger freighters. The A330-200F enables Etihad to optimize its network by addressing markets which do not make business sense with large freighters,” Airbus' COO, Customers, John Leahy, said in a statement. “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.”

Etihad also recently purchased a 40 percent stake for $20 million in the African carrier Air Seychelles in order to tap into tourism and trade opportunities.

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