DRESDEN, GERMANYTony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group said that the company will introduce its first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft into service in the second quarter of 2022.

Etihad Airways is the launch operator of the type in the UAE. Qatar Airways is currently the only Gulf-state operating the Airbus A350XWB's largest variant.

Etihad is planning to introduce five A350-1000 by the end of 2022. The carrier has 15 more of the same on order will join the Abu Dhabi-based carrier's fleet in the coming years. 12 out of 15 aircraft are expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi by the end of 2023.

Douglas said the pace of deliveries will depend on the market recovery. The planes will replace aging B777-300ERs in the airline's fleet.