Last updated: 8 May, 2012

Etihad says confident of Airbus A350 despite cancellation

Etihad Airways said it remains strongly confident of Airbus’ A350 programme despite cancelling its order for seven planes of the delayed stretched-body A350-1000.

“Etihad Airways has a great deal of confidence in the A350 XWB programme and we retain attractive delivery positions for the -1000 derivative,” said an airline spokesperson in a statement received by AFP on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi-based company said that, despite the new cancellations, which reduced its order book for the 350-seater aircraft to 12, it was maintaining its 25 options.

The Emirati airline cancelled six other A350-1000s in December.

“Although not intrinsically linked, the recent delay to the A350 XWB programme provided an appropriate opportunity for Etihad to revisit its projected fleet mix in the latter part of the decade,” the spokesperson said.

The cancelled seven planes represent a loss of $2.2 billion (1.7 billion euros) for Airbus at the catalogue price.

On Monday, Airbus revealed the cut in the order placed in 2008.

The European manufacturer declined to comment on the order figures for the A350-1000, a new aircraft it began assembling last month which also includes many composite materials.

The first A350s are due to be delivered in 2014.