Etihad Airways (Arabic: الاتحاد al-ittiḥād) is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (after Emirates). Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi International Airport (OMAA – ICAO). Established by royal decree of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in July 2003, Etihad commenced operations in November 2003. The name in Latin script is a romanization of the Arabic word for “union” (إتّحاد ittiḥād). In the airline’s Arabic name, Etihad (إتّحاد) is preceded by the definite article, al (ال), reading Al-Etihad (الإتّحاد).
The airline operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 119 Airbus and Boeing aircraft as of August 2015. In 2012, Etihad carried 10.3 million passengers, a 23% increase from the previous year, delivering revenues of US$4.8 billion and net profits of US$42 million. Etihad Airways is the third largest airline in the Middle East and it is the second largest airline in the UAE, after the Dubai-based airline Emirates. Its main base is Abu Dhabi International Airport.
In addition to its core activity of passenger transportation, Etihad also operates Etihad Holidays and Etihad Cargo. Etihad established its own airline alliance, Etihad Airways Partners, in 2015, which includes Alitalia, Jet Airways, airberlin, Niki, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional. Almost every participant airline has a considerable stake of the airline owned by Etihad. Booking for these airlines is consolidated under one network. With the exception of Niki, Etihad Airways holds minority equity investments in the participating airlines along with Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia which are not officially listed as Etihad Airways Partners.
The 787-9 is the first 787 variant with a “stretched” or lengthened fuselage that is 206 feet (63 m) long. It seats 280 passengers in a typical three-class arrangement with a range of 8,300 nautical miles (9,600 mi; 15,400 km). This variant differs from the 787-8 in several ways, including structural strengthening, a lengthened fuselage, a higher fuel capacity, a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), but with the same wingspan as the 787-8. When launched, the 787-9 had the same fuel capacity as the 787-8. The design differences meant higher weight and resulted in a slightly shorter range than the 787-8. After further consultation with airlines, design changes were incorporated to add a forward tank to increase its fuel capacity, so it has a longer range and a higher maximum takeoff weight than the 787-8. The -9 features active boundary-layer control at the rear, reducing drag.
The entry into service (EIS) date was originally planned for 2010, but by October 2011, deliveries were scheduled to begin in 2014. Boeing is targeting the 787-9 to compete with both passenger variants of the Airbus A330 and to replace its own 767-400ER. Like the 787-8, it will also open up new non-stop routes. The firm configuration was finalized on July 1, 2010.
The prototype 787-9 made its maiden flight from Paine Field on September 17, 2013. Launch customer Air New Zealand took delivery of the first 787-9, in a distinctive black livery, on July 8, 2014 in a ceremony at Paine Field. Another 787-9 is to be on static display at the 2014 Farnborough Air Show prior to delivery to the airline. Air New Zealand’s first commercial flight for the 787-9 was from Auckland to Sydney on August 9, 2014.
Other operators to be among the first to take deliveries of 787-9s were All Nippon Airways and United Airlines. The -9 is currently used on the longest nonstop scheduled 787 service – a United nonstop between Los Angeles and Melbourne. The 787-9 began commercial service with All Nippon Airways on August 7, 2014.