Many airlines have recently reconsidered their decision to mothball or retire their A380 aircraft. This included Qatar Airways, which brought back the A380s, Lufthansa and most recently, Etihad. In early 2023, Etihad reintroduced the A380, albeit only on the London routes, and decided to send four A380s to London daily. Now, they are activating more routes on the A380.
Etihad’s A380 aircraft to fly to New York, effective April 2024
Etihad has announced its plans to fly to New York with the A380 in the summer of 2024. Etihad states that the Airbus A380 will take over one of the two New York frequencies as of April 22, 2024, with the other frequency operating with a Boeing 787-9.
For the record, Etihad Airways has ten Airbus A380s, and Etihad grounded them at the start of the pandemic. Etihad was not planning to bring these aircraft back into service. Still, the overwhelming return of travel and the popularity of the Etihad A380 product, apart from slot constraints at London Heathrow, made Etihad change its mind. Each flight to and from London requires one A380 to operate. Etihad still had six A380 aircraft that it could send to other places.
Etihad’s A380 aircraft features The Residence, an exclusive suite on board the A380 with its own resting area, living area and shower, and Butler. The Residence was targeted towards the audience that would want to fly private otherwise.
The A380 also featured the Etihad First Apartments, Etihad’s First Class suites on the upper deck of the A380. Each A380 had only nine First Class seats, lining up a single aisle, and it is one of the most impressive First Class products I’ve flown in the past decade.
Each Etihad Apartment featured a (very comfortable) lounger chair, an 80.5″ fully-flat bed, and a 24″ television, apart from a shower.
Apart from this is the Business Studio, which lines up the rest of the upper deck and the Economy cabin, which fully fills up the lower deck with 405 seats.
At the top of the Etihad offerings is The Residence, a three-room suite in the sky. Accommodating up to two guests, The Residence features a private living room, bedroom, and ensuite bathroom, complete with a shower at 40,000 feet. A dedicated team of Etihad cabin crew ensures unparalleled service.
Guests in The Residence can indulge in a culinary journey with an à la carte menu, served on designer tableware in the private living room, or even opt for breakfast in bed. From gourmet cuisine to champagne and caviar, The Residence Signature High Tea offers a range of lavish options.
I’ve flown the Etihad A380 in Economy, the Business Studio and The First Apartment, and it has been an impressive aircraft LOPA through and through.
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said,
We’re thrilled to start flying our remarkable A380 across the Atlantic, and we know our guests love the onboard experience. Whether they are flying in Economy, Business, First or the three-room suite in the sky, The Residence, they will enjoy elevated levels of service from our dedicated crew, and ensure they arrive in the city that never sleeps refreshed and relaxed. We know this is important for all our guests, not least our corporate customers, and the timing and comfort provided by the A380 means they can arrive fresh and ready for their business appointments.
Putting the A380 on the popular New York route makes sense as we satisfy customer demand for more capacity, further growing our expanding network. The fact that our new route to Boston, Etihad’s fourth US gateway, will open on 31 March, three weeks before our A380 starts flying to New York, underlines our ambitious growth plans.
Etihad will reintroduce the Airbus A380 aircraft in the Summer of 2024, albeit only on the route between Abu Dhabi and New York. The airline has already introduced the A380 on flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. I assume two A380s will be brought back to serve this route specifically. The Etihad A380 is the epitome of premium cabins, at least at the top end, with a luxurious Etihad Residence and Etihad’s much-loved First Apartments.
What do you make of the return of the Etihad A380 aircraft to New York?
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