Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners are up to 25 per cent more fuel efficient than many comparable aircraft of their size. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways is adding three Dreamliners to its fleet as part of its Journey 2030 growth plan. The airline welcomed the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft this weekend at Abu Dhabi Zayed International Airport.

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We are thrilled to welcome these brand-new, state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners to Abu Dhabi. Their arrival is key to our network expansion strategy and comes at the perfect time as we continue to add multiple new destinations and expand frequencies into key markets.

“These new aircraft support our commitment to Abu Dhabi, allowing us to bring more guests to experience the incredible capital of the UAE, either as their end destination or on a stopover when connecting across our expanding network.”

The aircraft will feature brand-new interiors across Business Class and Economy Class cabins. There are 32 Business Suites and 271 Economy seats available.

Journey 2030
Etihad Airways announced its 7-year plan, Journey 2030, at the Dubai Airshow in 2023.

Under Journey 2030, Etihad's network will extend to over 125 destinations. The airline will double its fleet to over 160 aircraft, focusing on connecting short and medium-haul destinations in the GCC, India, and Asia with long-haul destinations in Europe and North America.

The plan targets attracting 10 million point-to-point travellers to the Abu Dhabi by 2030, catalysing economic growth, creating job opportunities, and solidifying Abu Dhabi's status as a premier global travel hub.

Etihad now has 43 Dreamliners in service, in addition to other aircraft including Airbus A380, A350, A320 family, and Boeing 777.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline has a fleet size of 88, and the expansion is in line with the airline’s ambitious 2030 plan. Etihad added new routes to Osaka, Copenhagen and Dusseldorf in the last quarter of 2023, as well as Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on New Year’s Day.

Etihad will begin flying to Boston, its fourth US gateway, on 31 March, and will add Nairobi and Bali to the network as well as summer routes to Nice, Malaga, Mykonos and Santorini.

High-demand group for Boeing

Dreamliners are a high demand group for Boeing, with the Singapore Air Show adding on more orders for the category. Among the major deals announced at Asia's biggest airshow, which ends Sunday, was an order by Thai Airways for 45 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, while Royal Brunei Airlines bought four of the popular model.

In 2023, Emirates updated its Boeing order to a total of 35 Dreamliners – 15 Boeing 787-10s, and 20 Boeing 787-8s. flydubai put in a $11 billion order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2023, which will be delivered from 2026.

Boeing said each 787 Dreamliner needed around 2.3 million parts, with some made by the company and others sourced from suppliers worldwide, according to its website.