The Dubai Airshow started with a bang after Etihad Airways announced a US$25.2 billion order with Boeing for 56 widebody airplanes with options and purchase rights for 26 additional airplanes.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier's order includes 25 777X airplanes, comprising 17 777-9Xs and eight 777-8Xs, subject to programme launch.
Etihad Airways is the first airline to order the 777-8X and will be a launch customer of the airplane, which is expected to enter service around the end of the decade. The order includes options and purchase rights for 12 additional 777X airplanes.
In addition, the airline has ordered 30 787-10s, the newest and largest member of the 787 Dreamliner family. When today's order is combined with the carrier's previous order for 41 787-9s, Etihad Airways becomes the world's largest airline customer for the Dreamliner family with a total of 71 787s on order. The order includes options and purchase rights for an additional 12 787-10s.
Today's announcement also marks the 1000th order for the 787 Dreamliner family since its launch in 2004. The 787 has reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in aviation history.
Etihad's order also includes one additional 777 Freighter for its cargo fleet, with options for two additional 777 Freighters.
"Boeing has been a long-term strategic partner for Etihad throughout that journey, playing an integral role in our growth, said Etihad Airways president and CEO James Hogan. "I am delighted we are extending our relationship, bringing industry-leading aircraft into our modern fleet."
"We are very proud of our relationship with Etihad Airways which began nine years ago with an order for five 777-300ERs," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "It is gratifying that as one of the world's fastest growing airlines, Etihad continues to have confidence in Boeing's products by ordering the 777X as well as by increasing its order for the 787. We look forward to further strengthening this partnership as Etihad continues to build its position as a forerunner in the global aviation industry."
Advanced technology including a new composite wing, all-new engines and superior aerodynamics will result in the incredible fuel efficiency promised by the 777X family.
The 777-9X, with around 400 seats, will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs over the competition. It will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane and no competitor in its market segment.
The 777-8X will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world with breakthrough economics and greater range capability than today's 777.
The 787-10 is the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and its passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics. The 787-10 will be 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.
Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.