Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi has sold 38 aircraft worth $ 1 billion (3.67 billion dirhams) to global investment company KKR and aeronautical finance company Altavair AirFinance. Etihad sells Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 and A330-200 equipped with Trent. Under the agreement, 777-300ER will be leased to Etihad when purchased in early 2020, while the A330s will be delivered over the next 22 months and leased with other international operators for passenger or converted operations in cargo ships. “As Etihad begins the third year of its transformation program, we have teamed up with KKR and Altavair AirFinance, which allows us to take a new positive step in optimizing our fleet. The agreement offers us flexibility while ensuring sustainability. Targets and maintains a fleet of the most fuel-efficient and technologically advanced aircraft, “an Etihad spokesperson said in a statement. Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said the agreement would ensure that the airline meets its strategic and financial sustainability goals by replacing planes with the most advanced and fuel-efficient types of fleet.
“The structure of this transaction also provides us with great flexibility, which means that we are well positioned to meet future growth needs,” he said. Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said that the sale of 777-300ER and a small contingent of A330 will allow Etihad to strengthen its record position, which is critical at a time when the airline wants to reduce expenses and limit costs. “The 777s will have significant traction and value in the market and, by unloading them, they will allow the airline to be both flexible in leasing them and making better use of its 787 fleets, while continuing to introduce the variants 787-9 and 787-10.,
“Dan Pietrzak and Brandon Freiman, partners at KKR, said they would work with Etihad Airways, not only in Abu Dhabi, but worldwide. Steve Rimmer, CEO of Altavair, said the partnership with Etihad will play a major role in the repositioning of the fleet.”