Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways restructures Airbus, Boeing jet orders

Etihad had placed orders for 26 A321neos, 40 A350-900s and 22 A350-1000s, as well as eight 777-8s and 17 777-9s. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 February 2019
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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways restructures Airbus, Boeing jet orders

  • Etihad has committed to take delivery of five Airbus A350-1000s and 26 A321neos plus six Boeing 777-9s “over the coming years”
  • It has ordered more aircraft, mostly in 2013 when it went on a jet-buying spree

ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways said on Thursday it has agreed with Airbus and Boeing to restructure a “large portion” of its orders, in what appeared to be a major cut in long-haul jet orders.
The Abu Dhabi-owned airline said in a statement that it has committed to take delivery of five Airbus A350-1000s and 26 A321neos plus six Boeing 777-9s “over the coming years.”
However, it has ordered more aircraft, mostly in 2013 when it went on a jet-buying spree, and said in the statement that the “balance of the remaining orders will be defined at a later time through rescheduling, restructuring or reduction.”
According to Etihad documents and the manufacturers’ websites, Etihad had placed orders for 26 A321neos, 40 A350-900s and 22 A350-1000s, as well as eight 777-8s and 17 777-9s.
The airline said it will also continue to take delivery of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, but did not say how many it would take.
Etihad has so far received 28 of 71 Dreamliners it has ordered, according to Boeing’s website.
Etihad said it had reached agreements with Airbus and Boeing to not disclose details of the order changes.
The airline’s announcement comes after a lengthy strategy review that began in 2016 after it piled billions of dollars into a failed strategy of buying minority stakes in other airlines.
Etihad has reported losses in excess of $3 billion and thousands of employees have left, including long-serving chief executive James Hogan, since the review started.
Etihad’s new boss Tony Douglas said last year the airline was now focused on flying passengers to and from Abu Dhabi, rather than competing to be a major intercontinental airline.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.