Etihad Welcomes Boeing Dreamliner

Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier has finally laid eyes on the Boeing 787 after ordering 41 of the aircraft for its future.

Etihad has welcomed the arrival of its new aircraft the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as it touched down in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening.

The carrier has ordered 41 of the aircraft, Boeing’s biggest plane, costing the airline $9.3 billion. The airline has purchase options on 25 more aircraft.

“This aircraft is the future and our decision to opt for the 787 Dreamliner is testimony to our commitment to operating one of the youngest and most fuel efficient fleets in the skies,” said Etihad CEO James Hogan in a statement.

The Boeing 787 has a capacity of up to 300 passengers and a range of 14,800km while being the most fuel-efficient plane in the world.

“It can be considered a game-changer,” said John Downey, the chief pilot for the Dreamliner at Etihad, according to The National.

“By the end of the decade, fuel prices could have doubled and you might have to retire less efficient planes.”

Remaining deliveries of the aircraft are due to begin in 2014 and once complete, Etihad will be the largest operator of Boeing’s flagship model.

Qatar Airways was one of the first buyers of the plane and is expected to take delivery of its first 787 later this month.