Etihad is pulling out the A380 service from Mumbai, sending it to Paris

Just last year, Etihad Airways made India one of the 4 select markets where they would launch the A380 service, calling it a very important market for the airline. Etihad’s Mumbai – Abu Dhabi and vice versa service was one of the shortest hops for the A380, and lasted all of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

a couch in a plane

Turns out, this was not going to last forever. As per the Business Standard today:

Etihad Airways is stopping its Airbus A380 service to Mumbai from July 1 owing to the low demand for premium service in the market.

Etihad Airways launched its A380 service between Abu Dhabi-Mumbai in May 2016. The aircraft seats 496 passengers and boasts of three-room private cabin called The Residence, in addition to first, business and economy classes.

I travelled the Mumbai – Abu Dhabi flight a few times, the first time in a leased 77W from Jet Airways, the second time in the Airbus A380 Apartments and the route hardly did any justice to the plane. You don’t have any time to use the facilities such as the shower and the apartment as the meal service takes up the entire flight for the premium cabin service.

As per the airline, they are deploying the Airbus A380 on the Abu Dhabi-Paris route and Mumbai will get an A340-600 plane instead for EY203/204 which has the old First Class and Business Class product.


It was good while it lasted! Etihad only has 10 Airbus A380s on order so this is not a product you’d see flying in all directions unlike the Emirates A380s. I’m sure Etihad has their reasons and their focus on premium cabin experience did not really work well with the Indian audience who’d focus more on the non-premium cabins.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Whats the big deal?!! A380 isnt something amazing. Except the sheer size. Singapore airlines isnt renewing there a380 license anymore. They were the 1st one. There havnt been any new order of the a380 from any airlines except emirates. No airlines is making money out a380. Sooner or later its going to gt scrap. So dont blame its our fault.

    • From a purely passenger perspective, I’d argue that an A380 is indeed amazing.
      Many airlines differentiate their onboard hard products between A380 and other aircraft. EK has showers which their 77W First hasn’t. EY has single aisle apartments, which it doesn’t on other aircraft. SQ has fully enclosed suits. The list goes on.

      To say that no airlines are making money out of A380 is a very generalized statement, and liable to be wrong without data over a large period for every A380 operator airline; which is hardly available in public domain.

      • Shower?!? Which u cant do more than 5mins. An there isnt any comparison btwn emirates & SQ quality. SQ is way better. Be it in from eco to 1st class. The service & food. No match. Emirates doesnt come close.

  2. Did not work well? I’ve done J on this route 5 times and it’s always been full.. Of course, it does make more sense to send it to Paris, but I don’t buy that it didn’t work well..

    Also, premium ticket prices might increase as a result of this downgrading. Not good news for BOM!

    • I completely agree, I flew J BOM-AUH recently and the entire premium class was full. In fact business class and first class cabins across all flights originating in India have more seat utilization than economy class.

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