Etihad Airways has reaffirmed its commitment to start Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operations in December, with additional flights on sale this week for both aircraft and an extensive pilot training program now underway.
During its first year of operations, the Airbus A380 will be deployed on Etihad’s three daily flights between Abu Dhabi and London, together with selected flights to Sydney, which has been confirmed as the second destination to be served by the aircraft.
Between December and June 2015, the Boeing 787-9 will be introduced on six of the airline’s routes, including Düsseldorf, Doha, Washington DC, Mumbai, Brisbane and Moscow.
Etihad will debut its new First, Business and Economy Class products onboard the forthcoming aircraft, and will also introduce The Residence by Etihad (pictured), a ground-breaking concept exclusive to its Airbus A380, which features the only three-room cabin in the sky.
James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, commented, “Our initial Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights have been on sale for almost four months and demand has exceeded our expectations, showing that the public share our passion for comfort, service, hospitality and style.”
He added, “The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 will play a fundamental role in the development of Etihad Airways’ network. On existing high demand routes such as London and Sydney, the A380 will provide additional seats and meet demand for increased capacity, especially in First and Business Class. The Boeing 787-9 will be used to launch flights to new destinations, add capacity in existing markets and progressively replace existing, less-efficient aircraft.”
Etihad Airways has a total of 10 Airbus A380s on firm order, the first of which will be delivered later this year. The aircraft will initially operate on services between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow.
Each Airbus A380 is designed to carry 496 passengers in four living spaces, including two VIP guests in The Residence by Etihad, nine guests in the First Class Apartments, 70 guests in the new Business Class Studios, and 415 guests in Economy Class.
Etihad Airways has 71 Boeing 787s on order, including 41 B787-9s and 30 B787-10s, making it the world’s largest operator of the aircraft type.