Etihad Airways has announced the purchase of two new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a deal worth $418 million.
Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier has confirmed the new planes will arrive in January and March 2014.
The UAE carrier has also announced the conversion of seven of its previously ordered A320s to the larger A321 model.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ CEO, said: “The reliable and highly versatile Airbus A330-200 has been an integral part of our global passenger and cargo success. As our operations and network continue to grow in scale, we feel the A330-200 is the right fleet type to expand with.
“Our decision to convert seven of our A320s on order into A321s reflects the increasingly strong demand we are seeing across our different routes and we look forward to taking delivery of our first in November 2013,” added Hogan.
Etihad and Airbus began operations for the first time in November 2003 with the airline now boasting a total of 24 Airbus plans in its fleet.
Its existing A330-200s operate on several routes including Munich, Milan, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Brisbane, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing.
John Leahy, Airbus’ CEO, said: “Winning a fifth repeat order from Etihad Airways for A330s is without a doubt a strong endorsement for the aircraft’s unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency.
“In response to the continuing strong demand, we’re making the A330 better and better, with for example new higher weight variants which offer our customers more payload-range capability with the same high operational reliability.”
Etihad’s new A330-200s will be configured with 22 Pearl Business Class lie-flat beds and 240 Coral Economy seats.