Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand in maintenance cooperation deal

July 01--Etihad Airways will soon perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance on Air New Zealand aircraft in Melbourne at its Tullamarine engineering facility.

Etihad Airways took delivery of its 100th and 101st aircraft on the same day. 

Etihad Airways and Air New Zealand have signed a wide-ranging agreement to provide reciprocal line maintenance services in Melbourne, Australia, and Los Angeles.

Etihad Airways will soon perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance on Air New Zealand aircraft in Melbourne at its Tullamarine engineering facility.

In return, Air New Zealand is already performing full line maintenance for Etihad Airways in Los Angeles. The maintenance services to be performed in Melbourne and Los Angeles may include transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled engineering services and fault repairs for the aircraft systems and passenger cabins.

Etihad Airways started a daily non-stop service between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles on 1 June 2014, using a three-class Airbus A340-500 aircraft.

From mid-July a Boeing 777-200LR will operate the route. Air New Zealand has operations from Los Angeles to Auckland, London-Heathrow and Rarotonga. Air New Zealand operates an average of five flights a day from Melbourne to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, as well as a seasonal service to Queenstown.

Jeff Wilkinson, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President Technical, said: "Our successful codeshare partnership with Air New Zealand goes back three years and we are delighted to build on this foundation by working together in the technical area.

"Etihad Airways' Melbourne line maintenance facilities, services and personnel are world-class, and we look forward to servicing Air New Zealand's aircraft while they perform similar line maintenance for us at their modern facility in Los Angeles. We also expect this announcement to lead to further employment opportunities at our Melbourne line maintenance facility in the future." In addition to Melbourne and Sydney, Etihad Airways' existing line maintenance facilities are in Chicago, Dublin, Mumbai, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Manchester and Singapore.

Aircraft deliveries

Etihad Airways last week took delivery of its 100th and 101st aircraft on the same day.

The one hundredth aircraft, a new Airbus A321-231, was delivered from the Airbus Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg. On arrival in Abu Dhabi, the aircraft was welcomed by over 500 Etihad Airways employees at a specially organised photo-shoot to mark the occasion.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: "This is an important day for an airline which launched operations just over ten years ago. Etihad Airways continues to grow, to prosper and to lead the way in innovation and service. Today, we fly the most technologically advanced and fuel efficient aircraft available."

The airline now operates three Airbus A321, with seven more on order. This A321 delivery is joined by the airline's 101st aircraft, an Airbus A320-200 (registration A6-EIX). Both aircraft are equipped with sharklets, which are blended winglets at each wingtip, designed to enhance the payload-range performance, allowing a significant reduction in fuel-burn.

In November 2013, Etihad Airways placed its largest ever aircraft order at the Dubai Airshow with a value of $67 billion for up to 199 aircraft and 294 engines.

The airline will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 aircraft in October and December of this year respectively. These aircraft will feature Etihad Airways' revolutionary new cabins, which were unveiled on 4 May 2014, including for the first time in the airline industry, a luxurious self-contained three room cabin on the A380 known as 'The Residence'.

Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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