Jumbo news released just hours ago by Etihad Airways sees the long-haul operator set to return its A380 superjumbo from next year. As travel demand surges across Etihad’s global network, the airline is set to reintroduce at least four A380 aircraft from the summer of 2023, which for those north of the equator runs from June through to September.
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Airways confirmed that the airline is preparing the A380 for deployment next year.
“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” said Mr Neves.
His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman at Etihad Airways also touched on the A380’s return.
“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.” he said.
In a post to its social accounts, Etihad did not clarify a full list of routes for returned A380 flights, but mentioned London as one of the first destinations to depart its Abu Dhabi hub.
The flights operating the A380 route will be EY11 departing Abu Dhabi at 2:05 AM and EY19 departing AUH at 8:30 AM
On the return leg from London, look out for EY12 and EY20, the first flight departing London at 9:30AM and the second on 14:50 in the afternoon.
At this stage, the first flight appears to be scheduled for July 15th, 2023 as EY11.
OUR A380s ARE COMING BACK! 👏👏👏
You read that right. From Summer 2023, our iconic A380s will make their return with 4x super-jumbos launched for service to London. 🥳
— Etihad Airways (@etihad) December 9, 2022
To support the capacity expansion, Etihad has said it is currently recruiting additional staff, including pilots, cabin crew and ground staff. According to the carrier’s website, cabin crew positions are open for several locations, including Australia and throughout Europe, Asia and North America. The Etihad superjumbo has not yet been scheduled to return to Australia, although we wouldn’t be surprised if the airline brings its biggest bird down under in the new year.
The Airbus A380 has long been a passenger favourite, and not just for its aesthetics, even though a double-decker plane is essentially an engineering mic drop. Many see the superjumbo as a more comfortable way to fly, even if that’s in Economy. It is also argued the A380 is less prone to turbulence, and I would have to agree the whale is very comfortable in the cruise.
Etihad’s A380s feature The Residence First Class alongside three cabin classes, with 9 First Class Apartments, 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy seats. The latter includes 80 Economy Space seats with additional legroom. The Lobby, Etihad’s serviced lounge and bar area located on the A380’s upper deck is also set to return exclusively for those travelling in style.