Etihad Airways is in talks with the Japanese firm Mitsubishi over a new jet that can cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is just one of several airlines in the Middle East interested in the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Emirates Business reported on Wednesday.
The plane, which has been bought by the Japanese airline ANA, and Trans State Holding of the US, will take its first test flight at the end of 2012 and start commercial operations in 2014.
"We expect a strong demand for this aircraft because it will save money. We have secured orders from Japan and the US and are negotiating with some airlines in the Middle East. The negotiations include Etihad Airways. They are in the first stages but Etihad has expressed interest in the jet," Hiromichi Takakuma, manager of marketing at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, told the paper.
The MRJ's "game-changing engine, state-of-the-art aerodynamic design, and noise analysis technology" allows it to reduce fuel consumption, noise and emissions by up to 20 percent, Takakuma said.
A prototype is on display at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.