Etihad airways has removed all five of there A330-200F aircraft cutting the airlines freighter offering in half.
Planespotters.net report that the aircraft were removed between the 28th December – 11th January and it appears has taken the cargo industry by surprise with no press release on Etihad’s own website and no industry announcement. The removal comes as a shock as the last A330-200F only came into service 11 months ago and so has had a ridiculously short Etihad life span.
A spokesman for the carrier has now confirmed that the aircraft has been removed from service and when asked quoted that it is normal industry business practice to continuously review aircraft requirments and to make modifications to the fleet when and where necessary.
It doesn’t look like the change has been officially release on their own website yet as all five aircraft are still showing on their Fleet page
Back in 2016 Etihad announced it would conduct a strategic review of their services but with the swiftness of the removal of half it’s fleet it does appear that this was not planned that far in advance but may have more to do with the tightening up on cargo flight information required by US authorities. If Middle Eastern carriers continue to reduce capacity on freighter aircraft into the USA this will surely continue to put pressure on rates and space availability.