Etihad Airways has become the first airline to publicly confirm an order for the new Airbus A350 Regional. As part of an order for a total of 117 Airbus aircraft, Etihad committed to buy 24 units of the new variant.
Airbus has been offering the aircraft for some time, but very few details are known so far. The A350 Regional is based on the A350-900 and is understood to be operating at a lower maximum take-off weight and at derated maximum engine thrust. The A350 Regional is one of two new initiatives to offer large capacity aircraft for medium-haul missions.
Airbus launched the A330 Regional earlier this year, which also features a lower maximum take-off weight and some changes to the cabin. The structure of the aircraft is unchanged. The new A350 variant is competing with Boeing’s recently launched 787-10.
Etihad’s order was for a total of 40 A350-900s, 10 A350-1000s, 26 A321NEOs and 10 A320NEOs plus one A330F. The A321NEO family aircaft will be equipped with CFM International Leap-X engines. Etihad also placed options for 30 more aircraft of the different types.
The order comes on top of a commitment for 25 Boeing 777Xs, 30 787-10s and one 777F the airline made public earlier on Sunday.