Etihad Airways buys 100 Airbus, Boeing planes worth US$20bn

FARNBOROUGH, July 14, 2008 (AFP) – Etihad Airways stole the limelight at the start of the Farnborough International Airshow Monday, announcing deals for 100 fuel-efficient Airbus and Boeing passenger planes worth 20.4 billion dollars (12.8 billion euros). The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, a nation enjoying the riches of record-high oil prices, revealed its purchases at one of the biggest events in the commercial aviation industry’s calendar.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, born just five years ago, added at the Farnborough airfield outside London that it was considering the purchase of an additional 105 passenger planes shared between Airbus and Boeing and worth about 22.6 billion dollars.

“This is a momentous day for Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi and represents one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan said of the firm 100 plane orders.

“The new generation aircraft we have ordered from both Boeing and Airbus are amongst the most fuel efficient and will help maintain Etihad’s fleet as one of the youngest and greenest in the sky,” he added.

Oil-producing states are snapping up new aircraft thanks to extra revenue earned from rocketing crude prices, which struck historic