Etihad Airways on Tuesday announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, just as its negotiations for a 49-percent stake in Alitalia regain momentum. The airline, whose bid for a piece of Alitalia marks yet another effort to expand its already considerable global influence, logged $1.4 billion in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27 percent.
In late October Air Seychelles announced its purchase of three 19-seat Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400s as part of a plan to renew its domestic fleet for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate. The airline expects to take all three turboprops by mid-2015 but holds an option for earlier delivery if aircraft become available. It now operates one Viking Twin Otter Series 400 and three aging de Havilland Canada-built Series 300s, all of which it plans to replace with the newly ordered airplanes.
Serbian national carrier Air Serbia will overhaul its fleet with 10 Airbus A320neos in a transaction valued at $1 billion at list price. The new narrowbodies are among the firm orders Etihad Airways placed with Airbus for 87 aircraft during the Dubai Airshow. Etihad, the Abu Dhabi government-owned airline, will acquire 49 percent of Air Serbia as of January.
Billing itself as the fastest-growing airline in the history of commercial aviation, Etihad Airways keeps doing everything in its power to maintain momentum. Last week it announced the June 1 launch of nonstop flights to Los Angeles from Abu Dhabi, supported by the purchase of five Boeing 777-200LRs from Air India. By the end of the year, Etihad plans to expand its fleet to 87 airplanes, including the five Air India jets and 14 new widebodies delivered by Boeing and Airbus this year.
Etihad Airways will take a 49-percent stake in Serbian national airline JatAirways under the terms of a deal with the government of Serbia announced Thursday that includes the award of a five-year management contract to Etihad. The deal also calls for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad to match a $40 million capital injection in the airline by the Serbian government with a loan facility that would convert into equity on January 1 of next year.
UAE government-owned carrier Etihad Airways inaugurated its fourth destination in North America on April 1, starting daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. Etihad last opened a new route to North America more than three years ago by starting service to Chicago, adding to its previous launches in New York and Toronto. Emirates, the largest Middle East carrier, started service between Washington Dulles and Dubai last September.
As part of its planned expansion in Europe, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways intends to increase its ownership stake in Air Berlin to 29 percent, a move that would make it the largest single shareholder in Germany’s second largest airline.
Boeing has finalized an order with Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, for 20 Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners, the manufacturer announced today.
Air China operates international and domestic passenger and cargo services. The carrier plans to use the airplanes to expand its domestic routes.
Germany’s Air Berlin has cut the number of airplanes in its firm order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners from 25 to 15, and the number of options from 10 to five, the company said today in a statement. The adjustment reduces the value of the order, based on current list prices, by $1.7 billion.
Air Berlin also said that it has reached an agreement with Boeing to reschedule delivery of nine 737s from 2010 and 2011 to 2015.
Austrian low-fare airline Niki in late November converted purchase rights into firm orders for another two Embraer E190s, deliveries of which the companies have scheduled for the first half of next year. A firm order for five airplanes announced during the Farnborough Airshow in July 2008 included purchase rights on another five jets–either E190s or E195s.
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