Etihad Airways, the national carrier of UAE, took delivery of its first A330-200 freighter aircraft.Etihad is the launch customer for the freighter which recently made its maiden flight from Airbus in Toulouse to the airline's base in Abu Dhabi.
The freighter will boost the airline's expanding fleet of cargo aircraft and arrives at a time when cargo volumes are at their highest for Etihad.
Etihad Crystal Cargo carried a record tonnage in July of more than 23,000 tonnes. More than 30,000 shipments were carried during the month, driven by increased volumes from Pakistan, Australia, China and Bangladesh. The UAE was the top cargo destination.
"The arrival of our new A330-200 freighter marks a new era in Etihad's cargo services and will support Etihad's goal to expand that side of the business further," James Hogan, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer.
The A330-200 freighter aircraft can carry up to 64 metric tonnes of cargo and can fly up to 7,400 kilometres non-stop. It will allow Etihad Crystal Cargo to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets.
Etihad Crystal Cargo will take delivery of a second A330-200 freighter in October and the two A330-200s will join the two leased MD-11 freighters and two leased A300 leased freighters, the airline said.