Exclusive: Etihad Airways in talks to cancel, defer Boeing 777X orders – sources

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DUBAI/ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Etihad Airways is exploring options with Boeing to cancel or defer orders for 777X jets worth billions of dollars in a fresh sign of the carrier’s financial strains and potentially squeezing Boeing’s newest model, four sources familiar with the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: A 777X banner is pictured above the 777 Wing Horizontal Build Line at Boeing’s production facility in Everett, Washington, U.S. June 1, 2017. Picture taken June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

Etihad, owned by Abu Dhabi, has been reviewing its fleet plans as part of a strategy overhaul launched after a nearly $2 billion loss in 2016.

The airline’s management believes it no longer needs all of the 25 777X twin-engined jets and may be willing to incur penalties for cancellations rather than be saddled with future recurring losses stemming from overcapacity, the sources said.

Etihad and Boeing declined to comment.

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