It’s been no secret that Etihad is suffering the consequences of its equity partner scheme, but added to that, has been a downturn in revenues and severe Middle East competition.
The airline has even gone as far as furloughing pilots without pay .
With 25 777-9’s on order the airline has decided that it’s way too many for sustainable growth and is looking to cut it – they’re $476m each – to around 12.
Etihad and Qatar are in effect joint launch customer and Boeing isn’t exactly sinking under the weight of orders. The airline has apparently told Boeing it is prepared to pay penalties and it would rather do that, than incur the cost of aircraft being delivered.
Boeing’s problem is filling the slots. Airlines pre-book when they want delivery to suit their plans, some may be willing to get them early – but most won’t so it complicates Boeing’s schedules close to initial launch.