Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways began another round of cost cutting yesterday as it tries to save $3.5 billion.
The airline cut the positions of 50 pilots (about 3% of their total) and informed Airbus it was cancelling an order for 10 A320neo’s.
Etihad has already removed 5 A320’s from service and now operates just 22 in a 16 business class, 120 economy seat layout.
The airline is looking far more at it’s long haul operation for future sustained growth, seeing the short haul aspect as likely to be more dominated by the growing number of local low and mid-cost airlines.
Etihad has recently taken delivery of four 787-10’s, and noticeably avoided first class in the fit-out, leaving them with a quite small 32 business class and 304 economy seats, suggesting a more realistic approach to how and where they’ll be used in it’s changed economic circumstances. Early 787-9’s had first but that’s now been dropped on more recent deliveries.