Another Bombshell: Etihad Is About To Retire All Boeing 777-300ER Jets By The End Of This Year

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After the recent decision to fleet out all of their A380, Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas now revealed that the carrier is going to stop operating all Boeing 777-300ER before the end of 2021.

This is yet another bombshell announcement together with the elimination of the A380 as both plane type were pretty much the backbone of the Etihad fleet until they were replaced by more model twin engine place types (B787 & A350).

Getting rid of entire plane types and cabins (Residence on the A380) is part of a comprehensive restructuring program Etihad is undergoing at the moment, looking at all their expenses and inefficiencies.

Reuters reported about the statement by Etihad CEO Tony Douglas today.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will no longer operate Boeing 777-300ER jets after this year, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as it accelerates planes to become a smaller airline.

State-owned Etihad is targeting to return profit in 2023 as part of a five-year restructuring plan that it has accelerated during the pandemic that has crippled the air travel industry.

“You will see of us a very focused, a very disciplined operating model which is heavily built around the fleet of the (Boeing) 787 Dreamliner and (Airbus) A350-1000,” CEO Tony Douglas told the online World Aviation Festival.

Etihad operates 19 777s, some of which it has recently converted to cargo flights in response to increased demand.

It has 39 787 Dreamliners in its fleet and has taken delivery of 5 of 20 A350s it ordered.

Douglas said it was too early to comment as to how the Boeing 777X jet, which it has ordered, would fit into its future fleet plans. …

The fate of the A380 has been pretty much sealed as well given the news from early March that the popular double decker will likely not return to service in Etihads fleet.

Now the news that the 777-300ER will also be going on their last adventure in Etihad’s bid to not only modernize their fleet but also shrink overall.

It’s rare that you hear a CEO envision his company to become smaller and more compact in size rather than expanding. Imaging something like coming from the mouth of Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker. Never!

Conclusion

The days of Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER are now numbered and by the end of this year the planes will have seen the last hurray.

In a bid to become a small airline Etihad will now focus on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 to stem the business for the popular Gulf carrier. It remains to be seen if this strategy is the best way forward for Etihad which has always been the third pillar of the ME3 (Emirates, Qatar Airways & Etihad).

In the past the name Etihad was synonymous with prestige projects such as First Class Apartments and The Residence on board the A380. This new strategy is somewhat of a departure from that approach and one has to see how customers will react.

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