Etihad restructures plane purchases amid fiscal turbulence

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said Thursday it has restructured planned airplane purchases from both Airbus and Boeing as the government-owned carrier struggles through serious financial turbulence.

Once making headlines in 2013 for fleet purchases valued at $67 billion, Etihad has seen its expansion strategy of rapidly buying stakes in other airlines expose it to major losses.

In its last two reported financial years alone, the airline hemorrhaged nearly $3.5 billion in losses. Full-year results for 2018 are expected in the summer.

Etihad said that it will take delivery of five Airbus A350-1000, 26 Airbus A321neos and six Boeing 777-9 aircraft "over the coming years." The airline said it also will continue to accept its orders for Boeing 787 Dreamliners, without elaborating.

Etihad said its remaining orders will be affected by "rescheduling, restructuring or reduction." In its 2013 purchase, Etihad made orders for 87 Airbus and 56 Boeing aircraft. Etihad currently has a fleet of 108 aircraft.

"This will enable the airline to further progress its transformation and adjust to its new operating model," the airline said. "By restructuring a large portion of its previous orders, Etihad can now concentrate on the phased introduction of new aircraft types, enabling an efficient rationalization of its fleet and building a network that connects Abu Dhabi to the world."

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