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Etihad Airways buys 100 Airbus, Boeing planes worth $20 bln

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Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, said here on Monday that it had agreed to buy 100 fuel-efficient Airbus and Boeing passenger planes worth $20.4 billion.

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, rich from record-high oil prices, stole the limelight on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow, outside London, a key event in the commercial aviation industry calendar.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, born just five years ago, added today that it was considering the purchase of an additional 105 passenger planes shared between Airbus and Boeing and worth about $22.6 billion. “This is a momentous day for Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi and represents one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan said of the firm 100 plane orders. “The new generation aircraft we have ordered from both Boeing and Airbus are amongst the most fuel efficient and will help maintain Etihad’s fleet as one of the youngest and greenest in the sky,” he added.

Oil-producing states are snapping up new aircraft thanks to extra revenue earned from rocketing crude prices, which struck historic peaks above $147 a barrel on financial markets last Friday. Soaring fuel costs, along with the credit crunch, are meanwhile encouraging airlines worldwide to invest in more energy-efficient planes and causing others to collapse.

Etihad Airways Monday signed a deal with Airbus to buy 10 superjumbo A380s, 25 extra wide-bodied A350s and 20 single-aisle A320s, which together are worth $11 billion at catalogue price. (Economic Times)

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