ETIHAD: A380 to London from July 15
As promised back in December 2022, the Etihad superjumbo A380 with its famous three-roomed residence is going to return to the skies on the Abu Dhabi to London/Heathrow route as of July 15, 2023. This will be the first of four A380s double-deckers that Etihad intends to rejoin its fleet by December this year.
The A380 will slip into the schedule as EY11 and EY12, and will eventually be joined by EY17/EY18 and EY19/EY20 on the same London Route – all flying the superjumbo. This will replace some of the 787 and A350 services on the route.
Etihas has all its premium classes on the upper deck. with its lounge, known as ‘The Lobby’ dividing First from Business Class.
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The Residence and First Class
The most famous aspect of Etihads’ A380 is its 3-roomed ‘The Residence’ apartment in the air. The jet also comes with 9 First Class suites with chairs and ottoman/beds with privacy doors – all on Etihad before Qantas, BA, and even Singapore Airlines, introduced these innovations.
Don’t get too excited though, ‘cos it looks like Etihad is holding off offering The Residence for bookings. ET is reporting that it will eventually be offered as an upgrade for First Class guests.
The Etihad A380 has 70 lie flat beds laid out 1-2-1 across the upper deck cabin, alternating between forward and backward-facing seats, but without sliding doors, which they do have on their A350 and B787 planes.
Etihad intends to use the freed-up B787s and A350s to re-open other routes and increase frequencies to other destinations.
The A380 really is making a comeback. Almost every airline with A380s as part of their fleet is re-introducing them to deal with capacity issues. Could this lead to the re-starting of the Airbus production line, or even the design and building of the next generation A380 with even greater comfort and efficiency? No, that is living in fantasy land. Point-to-point flying has won out over the centre and spoke model of flying.
The A380 is only returning to airline fleets because of the shortage of new aircraft and delays in maintenance caused by the near shutdown of the industry during the first 2 years of the pandemic.
Say ‘Hi’ to Nicole, if you find yourself on one of these birds.
What did you say?