Wow: Etihad Airways Airbus A380 Returning In 2023!

Whereas there was hypothesis about this for fairly a while, it’s now official — Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380s are making a comeback! That is tremendous thrilling, because the A380 is one in all my favourite planes.

Etihad A380s will fly to London as of 2023

Etihad Airways has at the moment introduced plans to place 4 Airbus A380s again into service. The intent is for the planes to fly completely between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and London (LHR). The primary A380 ought to be flying to London as of March 2023, and it’s anticipated that by October 2023 all frequencies to London will function firstclass (so I’d assume that additionally means all 4 A380s are flying by then).

Initially of the pandemic, Etihad Airways grounded its 10 Airbus A380s. The airline made it fairly clear from early on that the planes probably wouldn’t reenter service. That’s not simply due to the influence of the pandemic, however quite Etihad was already attempting to radically alter its marketing strategy pre-pandemic, and shrink into extra of a boutique and sustainable airline.

In order that’s why it’s fascinating to see the airline backtrack. Etihad claims this choice is being made as a result of a surge in demand for air journey throughout the service’s community, and as a result of buyer suggestions. It’s in fact nice to see 4 A380s return to service, although there’s no indication that the opposite six A380s will return, so the airline can have a a lot smaller A380 fleet than pre-pandemic.

Etihad Airways Airbus A380

The fundamentals of Etihad’s Airbus A380s

Etihad’s Airbus A380s are some fairly particular jets, and after they have been in service they provided fairly a halo impact for Etihad. Etihad’s A380s are configured with a complete of 485 seats.

With the A380s returning to the skies, this implies Etihad is reintroducing The Residence, which is a non-public three room suite with butler service positioned on the entrance of the primary class cabin. That is essentially the most unique product accessible in industrial aviation. Apparently Etihad now not has butlers, so I assume that coaching has to restart.

Etihad A380 The Residence bed room
Etihad A380 The Residence lounge

The return of the A380 means we’ll see the reintroduction of the Etihad First Class Residences, as there are 9 of these on the airplane. This is without doubt one of the most spectacular firstclass laborious merchandise on the market, as there’s only a single aisle within the heart of the cabin, and one suite on all sides.

Etihad A380 First Class House cabin
Etihad A380 First Class House
Etihad A380 First Class House

There are then 70 enterprise class seats, that are the Etihad Enterprise Studios, the identical product you’ll discover on the 787. It is a stable enterprise class product, however not so good as Etihad’s new A350 enterprise class.

Etihad Enterprise Studio

Lastly, there are 405 financial system class seats, together with 80 with further legroom. This takes up the complete decrease deck, as seats are in a 3-4-3 configuration.

Remember the fact that Etihad Airways is a associate with each Air Canada Aeroplan and American AAdvantage, so it ought to be doable to redeem miles for these flights, together with in First Class Residences. The A380 has already been loaded into the schedule — as of now I’m seeing enterprise class award availability, however not firstclass award availability.

Etihad Airbus A380 award availability
Etihad Airbus A380 award availability

My tackle the Etihad A380 comeback

I couldn’t be happier to see Etihad deliver again the Airbus A380, because it’s such a fantastic airplane, and Etihad’s configuration on these jets was particularly good.

It’s fascinating how this time round Etihad is bringing again these planes as a devoted subfleet that can fly completely on one route, between Abu Dhabi and London. That appears sensible, for the reason that single largest promoting level of the A380 is having the ability to supply excessive capability to fit restricted airports.

On the similar time, I can’t assist however be shocked by the A380 returning. Etihad has made a complete 180 lately, and has develop into such a conservative airline. I think about the economics of working such a small subfleet aren’t preferrred, particularly with the airline having so many A350s and 787s on order.

Moreover, except for the A380, Etihad roughly appears to be within the technique of eliminating firstclass, as at this level solely a handful of 787s have firstclass, and that can probably be minimize when Etihad introduces its new 787 enterprise class.

For that matter, it’s not straightforward for Etihad to promote firstclass with a mannequin like this. A overwhelming majority of passengers on Gulf carriers are connecting, but Etihad doesn’t supply firstclass on nearly all different routes you can join onto. So it’ll be robust to persuade firstclass vacationers to guide Etihad after they might guide an airline like Emirates, which provides firstclass on most flights.

I’d even be fascinated to know the timeline of this choice. Earlier Etihad CEO Tony Douglas not too long ago left the airline to take a job at RIA, whereas Etihad’s new CEO, Antonoaldo Neves, began in mid-October. Was this choice made previous to Neves becoming a member of the airline, or has this all been put into movement prior to now a number of weeks?

The Foyer on the Etihad A380

Backside line

The Etihad Airbus A380 can be making a comeback as of 2023. The airline is bringing again 4 Airbus A380s, and so they’ll fly completely between Abu Dhabi and London. Given how Etihad has primarily shrunk its method into profitability and has tried to streamline its fleet, I’m a bit shocked to see this growth, although I’m definitely joyful about it.

What do you make of Etihad bringing again the A380?

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