MIAMI – AvGeeks and airplane spotters may have noticed an all-white Boeing 777F roaming the skies serving major global airports. The aircraft is the latest addition to Etihad Cargo (EY), based at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
The type, bearing registration A6-DDF (MSN-60509) was delivered brand new to the Cargo unit of EY nearly three years ago, taking the total fleet number to five.
This particular aircraft on delivery wasn’t painted in EY’s livery and even today, apart from a small “Operated by Etihad Airways” mark in the front of the aircraft, remains the white ghost of EY.
The reason for the all-white livery is unknown. However, some speculate that upon receiving the aircraft, it was to be wet-leased to another operator, but the lease did not go ahead as planned and the airline has not painted it since to save costs.
What Happened to Etihad’s Boeing 747s?
Delivered to Etihad in February 2015, this 22-year-old Boeing 747-400F was fully painted in the EY cargo livery, although it kept its American registration as the aircraft was leased from Atlas Air (5Y). In 2017, the Jumbo made its way back to the US and currently operates for 5Y.
An 8-year-old Boeing 747-8F also leased from Atlas Air was also painted in full EY livery. The aircraft operated for three years before going back to its lessor. Currently, the aircraft is operated by Polar Air Cargo (PO) for DHL (D0).
On a related note, the airline sold all its five Airbus A330F to D0 in August 2018.
Etihad Cargo has been shipping goods for nearly two decades and offers a variety of categories from basic airmail/packages, Pharmaceutical Logistics, Skytables (Horse transportation), fresh foods and flowers, live animals, High-value vehicles transportation (FLYVALET), high valued culture equipment and jewelry.
Etihad cargo had nearly 10 aircraft some years ago but as of today, it has just five Boeing 777F, with a depleting cargo fleet the airline will rely heavily on the cargo holds of the passenger fleet which comprises more than 100 aircraft. Based in the strategic area of Abu Dhabi Etihad Cargo provides an integral link to Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Featured image: All-white ETIHAD Boeing 777 (A6-DDF) Take-off at the Polderbaan, Schiphol. Screenshot: vliegtuigspotter valentijn via YouTube