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Etihad Airways, the Middle East’s third-largest carrier, will hold onto its remaining orders of Airbus A350-1000 aircraft after scaling back its purchase plans by more than half, Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said.
Cancellation of 13 A350-1000 orders was “a timing issue,”Hogan said in a telephone interview today. Hogan said he’s satisfied with the aircraft, the biggest variant of the A350 family of airliners.
The Abu Dhabi state-owned airline first reduced its order in December, canceling six A350-1000s. Figures released by Airbus last month showed the airline disposed of seven more in April. It retains an order for 12 of the planes set for delivery in 2017.
Airbus is developing the wide-body plane to compete with Boeing Co (BA)’s 777. Other customers, including Qatar Airways Ltd., have criticized the A350-1000 as not offering enough to compete with the 777, among Boeing’s bestselling aircraft.
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