Etihad Airways has announced that the airline will retire its fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs and keep it’s A380 fleet grounded indefinitely as it looks to become a smaller airline, with a streamlined fleet of aircraft.
By the end of 2021, Etihad will phase out its fleet of 19 777-300ERs. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Etihad has begun using some of its 777-300ERs on dedicated cargo flights, to compliment its fleet of 5 777 freighter aircraft.
The airline’s CEO, Tony Douglas, said Etihad will focus on its Boeing 787 and yet to be entered into service A350-1000 fleet.
Currently Etihad have 39 787s in service. 5 A350-1000s have been delivered however were placed immediately into storage.
Etihad’s fleet of 10 A380s have also fallen victim to COVID-19 with the airline grounding them indefinitely. Their return seems extremely unlikely with Douglas saying the type were “a wonderful product, but they are no longer commercially sustainable.”
The Abu-Dhabi based carrier also has 25 777Xs on order, however the future of this order is yet to be determined with Boeing pushing the delivery timeline out to 2023.
As part of a 5 year plan to return to profitability, which has been accelerated by the pandemic, Etihad look to return profits in 2023.