Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways is investing $750m in a series of upgrades and repairs of its fleet and flight planning systems.

The largest contract is a $250m service contract with Swiss aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company SR Technics which was acquired by a local consortium including Abu Dhabi government-owned development company Mubadala, Dubai Aerospace Enterprises (DAE) and Dubai-based investment house Istithmar.

The agreement gives Etihad access to over 3,000 aircraft components.

The airline also signed a $200m order with multi-national aero engine consortium International Aero Engines (IAE). The company will conduct complete overhaul and repair works for 14 Airbus and their engines in Etihad’s fleet.

Etihad says transferring engine maintenance responsibility to the IAE will be more cost-effective as it will reduce fuel consumption and increase the flying time between maintenance checks.

Etihad also signed contracts with Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to upgrade the cabins in the Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 fleets and with Germany’s Lufthansa Systems to install the airline’s new first class suite in nine of its Airbus A340 aircraft.

Lufthansa Systems will also introduce a new flight planning system to enable Etihad to reduce fuel costs by up to five per cent.

Etihad’s fleet will increase to 52 aircraft by year-end with orders for a further 100 to be delivered by 2017.