Etihad Airways is to upgrade all its 14 weekly Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights to be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft from October 29 this year. This will effectively provide a double daily service to Sydney on a superjumbo.
The existing daily A380 service will be reinforced with the upgraded service which will replace a Boeing 777-300ER with a 328-seat capacity. The announcement marks the Gulf airline’s tenth anniversary of serving its first Australian destination, Sydney.
The additional superjumbo deployment, featuring the only three-room suite in the skies (on a commercial aircraft), will increase the route capacity by 496 seats. This means Sydney will join the ranks of London and New York as an all-A380 affair.
Consequently, Etihad Airways will meet growing demand from the UAE and the cities it connects to throughout the Gulf region as well as in the Middle East and Europe. In addition, passengers will soon enjoy a seamless A380 experience travelling between Sydney and London Heathrow via Abu Dhabi in both directions.
Etihad Airways currently has three daily London Heathrow flights operated by an A380 and, from the 1st of June, the second daily New York service will also receive the A380 treatment.
Of the route upgrade, Etihad Chief Executive Office, Peter Baumgartner commented, “Sydney is one of our busiest and best performing long-haul routes where we have experienced increased demand, particularly in our premium cabins, since the launch 10 years ago.
“By introducing the A380 on the second daily flight, we are able to ensure our flagship product is on all of the Sydney services each week. The upgrade of this service will help fulfil growing demand, benefiting travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, and across Etihad Airways’ global network."
The existing daily Etihad A380 service is on the overnight flights, so the upgrade will be on the day time services.