Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, last week celebrated a major milestone as the fastest growing airline in commercial aviation history, when it took delivery of its 100th and 101st aircraft on the same day.
The one hundredth aircraft, a new Airbus A321-231 (registration A6-AEC), was delivered from the Airbus Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg. On arrival in Abu Dhabi, the aircraft was welcomed by over 500 Etihad Airways employees at a specially organized photo-shoot to mark the occasion.
The airline now operates three Airbus A321, with seven more on order. This A321 delivery is joined by the airline’s 101st aircraft, an Airbus A320-200 (registration A6-EIX). Both aircraft are equipped with sharklets, which are blended winglets at each wingtip, designed to enhance the payload-range performance, allowing a significant reduction in fuel-burn.
In November 2013, Etihad Airways placed its largest ever aircraft order at the Dubai Airshow with a value of US$67 billion for up to 199 aircraft and 294 engines.
The airline will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 aircraft in October and December of this year respectively. These aircraft will feature Etihad Airways’ revolutionary new cabins, which were unveiled on 4 May 2014, including for the first time in the airline industry, a luxurious self-contained three room cabin on the A380 known as The Residence, featuring a separate living room, bathroom and double bedroom.