Airbus suffers fresh blow as Etihad bows out on orders

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Etihad Airways was the first carrier to have cut its backlog for the type since the aircraft was redesigned last year. Photo –

Airbus suffered a fresh setback when Etihad cancelled a second batch of orders worth $2.2 billion for 7 for its A350-1000.

According to a statement released by Airbus, Etihad revised its order tally for the 350-seat A350-1000 wide-body in April in addition to cancellation of six A350-1000s in December last year. The UAE flag carrier still has 12 A350s on order, expected to be delivered in 2017.

Airbus had promised Etihad to deliver a plane in 2014 but delayed the aircraft last year, insisting it needed more time to improve range and performance issues. Qatar Airways, the first and largest Airbus A350 customer, joined by Emirates, the second-largest customer, recently said it’s still not content with the design of the aircraft.

Etihad declined to provide a comment on the cancellation of Airbus order. Airbus says its A350 will be available in three sizes. The European plane maker is challenging Boeing’s 777 and the smaller 787 Dreamliner that recently entered service after more than three years of delays.

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