Etihad Airways much-anticipated A380 arrives in Sydney tonight, beginning an exciting new era of luxury travel on the Sydney-Abu Dhabi and Sydney-London routes.
The A380 features The Residence by Etihad, the airline’s luxurious private three-room suite in the sky, a first in commercial aviation, as well as ground breaking innovations in all cabins.
The inaugural Abu Dhabi-Sydney A380 flight – EY454 – departed Abu Dhabi International Airport at 22:00 last night and is scheduled to touch down at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport at 17:55 this evening.
The aircraft, in the airline’s new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, will be welcomed to Sydney by a traditional water cannon salute.
The return Sydney-Abu Dhabi flight – EY455 – will depart Sydney at 21:25 tonight.
The A380 will now operate one of the airline’s two daily services between Sydney and Abu Dhabi.
The airline’s additional four weekly Airbus A340-600 flights will be upgraded to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Etihad president James Hogan said: “Today marks another major milestone in the short history of Etihad Airways.
“Guests on the A380 between Sydney and Abu Dhabi will enjoy a superior level of luxury, comfort, service, and inflight technology that will totally transform their flying experience.
“Furthermore, the A380 out of Sydney connects seamlessly at the Abu Dhabi hub to the A380 to London, offering our London-bound guests the comfort and convenience of an all-A380 service all the way.”
The new daily A380 service, together with an upgrade to a B777-300ER from the current A340-600 for the airline’s other four weekly flights, will increase the total number of two-way seats on the route by 30 per cent to 9,568 seats per week.
Hogan said: “In 2014, we achieved an 88 per cent seat load factor on our Sydney route. The A380 will provide us with much-needed additional capacity, particularly in business class, where we consistently enjoy high levels of demand for our services.
“This capacity increase is particularly good news for our premium guests and for high-end leisure and business tourism at both ends of the Sydney-London route.”
Etihad Airways’ new A380 cabins offer an unprecedented level of luxury, space and privacy in the most highly customised commercial cabin interior ever.