Abu Dhabi-based aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider, Etihad Engineering, has completed a six-year heavy maintenance check on the first in a series of Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 aircraft, for its return to service after a period of secure ground storage necessitated by Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Etihad expects to return four of its 10 A380s to the fleet during summer 2023, with plans to operate to London Heathrow, freeing-up capacity for increased frequencies on existing routes and the launch of new destinations.
“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,” said Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways. “We look forward to welcoming our guests again on board this remarkable aircraft.”
Etihad Engineering’s team carried out removal, inspection and installation of the full A380 aircraft cabin, which features The Residence first-class suite, nine First Apartments and 70 Business Studios on the upper deck, as well as 405 Economy Smart Seats on the main deck (498 seats in total).
The scope of the comprehensive check, carried out at dedicated workshops onsite at the Etihad Engineering facility, located adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, also included rear spar modifications, frame modifications, removal, inspection and installation of all four engines, and the inspection and servicing of a wide range of components. The Etihad Engineering team worked with Etihad Airways, Airbus and other key suppliers ahead of the delivery.
David Doherty, vice president – commercial at Etihad Airways, stated, “The Etihad Airways A380 fleet features one of the most luxurious, award-winning guest experiences and we are as excited as the airline in bringing the aircraft back to the skies this summer. We have delivered the first A380 of the Etihad Airways re-entry into service programme and work has begun on the next input in the nose-to-tail project at our facility.”