Etihad makes deal for 2 more Airbus A330s

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fast-growing Etihad Airways says it has agreed to purchase two more Airbus A330-200 planes in a deal worth $418 million.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier says the planes are scheduled to be delivered in early 2014 as part of aggressive expansion plans to keep pace with rival Gulf airlines Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad CEO James Hogan said on Tuesday that he considers the A330-200 to be central to the airline's growth plans.

Government-owned Etihad began buying pieces of foreign airlines in December when it took a stake of nearly 30 percent in Air Berlin. It followed that deal with purchases of chunks of Air Seychelles, the island country's national carrier, Ireland's Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia.

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