Etihad reveals new A330F routes

ETIHAD’S two new A330-200Fs will be deployed to Hahn in Germany, Tripoli and Milan, Ndjamena and Nairobi, and Beijing when they enter service on 1 September and ?1 October, according to Roy Kinnear (right), senior vice-president of Etihad Crystal Cargo.

The carrier’s four existing freighters – two leased MD-11Fs and two A300-600Fs leased from Maximus Air Cargo – will also remain with the Etihad fleet, bringing its total number of all-cargo aircraft up to six.

In addition, Kinnear confirms that a fourth freighter type will join the fleet next year – a 777F, which has been showing on the Boeing order book for some months now. Etihad is due to take delivery of the freighter in June 2011, though it has yet to say what routes it plans to deploy it on.

The carrier became the launch customer for the A330-200F on 20 July when Airbus handed over the aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show, replacing the mysterious Flyington Freighters of India, which was the original launch customer.

Kinnear is looking forward to the better economics of the aircraft. “In addition to the maintenance and crew efficiency gained through cross-utilisation with the passenger fleet, they also give improved operating economics including fuel efficiency and an increased payload of up to 4,000 nautical miles at reduced operating costs.”

The new capacity will enable Etihad to boost frequencies to a range of existing destinations, with Hahn and Khartoum rising from two to four weekly, Guangzhou, Tripoli, N’djamena and Nairobi from once to twice weekly and Shanghai from five to seven.

The Beijing flights will be three times a week, and all the Chinese flights will return to Abu Dhabi via India. Shanghai will continue to be served by the MD-11F, while the A300s will serve Chennai, Colombo, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Nairobi, Bangalore, Calcutta and Khartoum. Kinnear says other new destinations are being explored and Etihad will also have more capacity in the charter market, particularly to Afghanistan, Iraq and East Africa.

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