Etihad may place $2.5-billion deal with Boeing: sources

DUBAI Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:12pm EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways may buy an additional 12 aircraft from Boeing (BA.N), including 10 787 Dreamliners and two 777 jets, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The value of the deal, if signed, is expected to be around $2.5 billion based on the average list price of the aircraft.

Etihad and Boeing declined to comment.

It was unclear if the announcement of the deal would be made at the Air Show in neighboring Dubai, home to rival airline Emirates EMIRA.UL.

Etihad was expected to have a low presence at the event, set to be dominated by Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad has an existing order of 35 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Reports in March said the carrier had canceled four of them and instead took three wide-body Boeing 777 planes.

It has also ordered 19 Boeing 777 aircraft, of which nine have been delivered.

Boeing displayed its new 787 Dreamliner for the first time in the region at the Dubai Air Show on Saturday after the fuel-saving carbon-fiber passenger jet went into service in Japan recently.

Etihad, which flies to 86 cities will add six new destinations -- Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu in China, Dusseldorf, Shanghai and Nairobi -- over the coming six months.

The unlisted carrier said last month that it was on track to break even this year and reported that its third-quarter revenues rose to $1.1 billion compared with $785 million in the same period last year.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon and Tim Hepher; Editing by Sitaraman Shankar)

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