Following a surge in demand for air travel across Etihad’s network, the airline is now able to meet customer demand to reintroduce its A380s. Etihad initially expects to operate four of the aircraft on Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow routes from summer 2023, freeing-up capacity for increased frequencies on existing routes and the launch of new destinations. The A380s’ return will be supported by the addition of five of their smaller A320 siblings.
“We know this will be welcomed by our guests who love Etihad’s incredible A380 and its award-winning cabins, said Antonoaldo Neves, chief executive officer at Etihad Airways. “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.”
While many would love to see the Etihad A380s back in the skies today, since the aircraft have been in storage they will need to be prepared by engineers before their return, and the airline also needs to recruit and train new A380 teams, including pilots, cabin crew and technical ground staff.
“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,” said His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of Etihad Aviation Group.
Etihad’s A380 interiors are perhaps the most customised in the world, with heavily modified door areas, ‘The Residence’ with bedroom, sitting room and shower room, as well as nine First Apartments, 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats (including 80 Economy Space seats with a seat pitch of up to 36in). For the first time, Etihad plans to eventually offer The Residence as an optional extra for guests to further upgrade their first-class experience.