Etihad buys 5 Boeing 777-200 LR from Air India
PTI | Oct 9, 2013, 08.39PM IST
NEW DELHI: Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi's national carrier, intends to buy five wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft from Air India.
The two airlines signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) in Mumbai earlier this week but the deal amount has not been disclosed.
According to official sources, the sale is subject to approval from Air India's board and the government. After these approvals, the planes would be delivered to Etihad Airways by February or March next year.
Air India, saddled under huge debt, had put eight of its wide-body Boeing 777-200 LR (Long Range) planes for sale as part of its turnaround plan. The five aircraft, which Etihad is buying, have an average age of six years.
A spokesperson for the UAE airline said Etihad would deploy the aircraft on the new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, which it plans to start from June next year.
Etihad, in the first-ever investment by a foreign airline in an Indian carrier, has struck a Rs 2,058 crore deal to buy 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways in April as part of a strategic alliance to expand their global network.
"The Boeing 777-200 LR is a fantastic addition, giving us extra reach immediately and complementing our long term fleet strategy. We are looking forward to starting direct services to Los Angeles, as well as increasing our flying to South America. This is the aircraft to do that," James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways said in a statement.
Each of these planes would be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad's fleet.
"It is expected the first aircraft will enter service in April 2014," the statement said.
source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/busi ... 828075.cms
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