MIAMI — DHL Subsidiary, EAT Leipzig, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330-200F (D-ALMA), an ex-Etihad Crystal Cargo Aircraft (formerly A6-DCA).
The plane was ferried from Abu Dhabi to Leipzig on August 14, 2018.
The German cargo operator is due to receive the other four Etihad Crystal Cargo A330Fs that are currently in storage in Teruel, Spain.
The Arab carrier has effectively phased out all the A330Fs from its cargo fleet, transitioning to an all-Boeing 777F operation.
Etihad withdrew these young A330s (delivered in 2014) at the beginning of the year as part of a major fleet reorganization plan that aims to cut costs and streamline its cargo operation through a single-type fleet system. The planes have been in storage since January.
Etihad’s Reorganization Plans Continue
As the Abu Dhabi-based carrier continues to reorganize its business, the largest cuts have been on both its route network and fleet.
“The widebody freighters were withdrawn from service effective 1 January and have been placed into storage in Abu Dhabi Int’l and Teruel ever since,” said an Etihad spokesperson.
Other than the Airbus A330Fs, the carrier also phased out its five Boeing 777-200(ER) fleet.
Etihad’s freighter fleet remains with five Boeing 777Fs, all of which are deployed on cargo flights from Abu Dhabi to India, the Far East, China, Sub-Saharan Africa, North/South America, and Europe.
With an all-777F operation, the airline will take advantage of the fleet commonality between its cargo and passenger operation, where it runs a strong 777-300(ER) and 787-9 Dreamliner fleet.
In the meantime, Etihad is exploring ways to cooperate with its biggest competitor, Emirates.
The Dubai-based giant has said it would explore ways to work more closely with struggling Etihad. “The two UAE-based airlines would consider joint purchases and sharing facilities in countries,” said an open statement.
Etihad’s new CEO, Tony Douglas, said that his airline will become “more rational” and that he would not shy away from axing routes that were “commercially unsustainable.”
The Abu Dhabi carrier rapidly expanded under James Hogan’s tenure by purchasing stakes on a myriad of airlines (all of which failed), as well as placing orders for aircraft that the new administration is now canceling or selling out.