United Arab Emirates’ national carrier Etihad Airways has announced it is reintroducing four of its A380 aircraft from summer 2023.
The carrier says this move follows a surge in demand for flights across the airline’s network, as well as customer feedback for the return of one of the most remarkable commercial flying experiences in the sky.
His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group commented on the development: “It is wonderful to announce the return of this splendid aircraft. The A380’s reintroduction provides a further boost to Etihad’s capacity into the key UK market, with a knock-on effect for the wider GCC and Indian subcontinent that will bring more visitors to the city of Abu Dhabi.”
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “We know this will be welcomed by our guests who love Etihad’s incredible A380 and its award-winning cabins. We have decided the time is right to return some of our A380s into the fleet to satisfy the demand which has made them financially viable once more. We look forward to welcoming our guests again on board this remarkable aircraft.”
Etihad’s impressive A380 aircraft feature ‘The Residence’ as well as three cabin classes on board the double-decker aircraft, including nine ‘First Apartments’, 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats. This includes 80 Economy Space seats with a seat pitch of up to 36 inches.
Etihad says the nine ‘First Apartments’ are set across a single aisle and offer a private living space with a large leather lounge chair and an ottoman which opens up to become a separate 80.5″ long fully-flat bed. The ‘First Apartment’ is one of the most spacious in its class and also offers a 24″ swiveling LCD TV monitor and personal vanity unit. Etihad also plans to eventually offer ‘The Residence’ as an optional extra for guests to further enhance their First experience.
The Lobby, which will be available to guests in First and Business class, is a serviced lounge/bar area located between the two cabins and features leather sofas, refreshments and a large TV with a USB connection.
Etihad expects to operate the aircraft to London Heathrow, freeing up capacity for increased frequencies on existing routes and the launch of new destinations. According to the carrier, the A380s’ return will be supported by the addition of five smaller A320 aircraft.
Etihad is currently recruiting and training teams for its A380 aircraft fleet, including pilots, cabin crew and technical ground staff.