It seems the allure of running one of a bigger aircraft on an important route is a strong one, with Etihad Airway planning to bring the Airbus A380 back to New York.
The double-decker jet will make its return on the Abu Dhabi to New York-JFK route from the 22nd of April 2024. It will operate on one of the two daily Etihad flights to New York. The other daily flight will be operated by a 787-9 featuring First, Business and Economy cabins, as the airline scales up its capacity to the USA.
The aircraft will operate on the EY103/EY102 flight pair, operating as follows:
EY103 DEPART AUH 03:10 ARRIVE JFK 09:30 EY102 DEPART JFK 15:30 ARRIVE AUH 12:30+1
It marks the second destination to be served by an Etihad A380 – the other being London Heathrow.
Four classes of travel.
The airline operates a four-class configuration on board. Economy Class is split into an extra legroom economy (68 seats with 4 inches of extra legroom and 337 normal economy seats)
On the upper deck, there are 70 Business Studio Seats.
Between the First and Business cabins on the upper deck is “The Lobby” a serviced lounge and bar area.
There are 39 First Class seats and of course, three “The Reisdence” – a three-roomed suite in the sky, with a private bathroom and shower.
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, says:
“We’re thrilled to start flying our remarkable A380 across the Atlantic, and we know our guests love the onboard experience. Whether they are flying in Economy, Business, First or the three-room suite in the sky, The Residence, they will enjoy elevated levels of service from our dedicated crew, and ensure they arrive in the city that never sleeps refreshed and relaxed. We know this is important for all our guests, not least our corporate customers, and the timing and comfort provided by the A380 means they can arrive fresh and ready for their business appointments.
“Putting the A380 on the popular New York route makes sense as we satisfy customer demand for more capacity, further growing our expanding network. The fact that our new route to Boston, Etihad’s fourth US gateway, will open on 31 March, three weeks before our A380 starts flying to New York, underlines our ambitious growth plans.”
Want to upgrade to The Residence? It’s on sale…
Eithad has some lead-in pricing for those who want to spend their flight In the Residence. The airline is offering upgrades from 10,999 AED ($2,990) for those holding First Class tickets.
The fine print says
Special offer available to buy between 29 November to 12 December, 2023 upgrade for 10,999 AED for one person or 14,999 AED for two, one-way. Available on travel from 22 April, 2024 (excluding 14 – 24 June, 2024).
Standard The Residence upgrade fare between Abu Dhabi and New York 16,600 AED per person, one-way.
Using the A380 for its purpose
One of the major considerations for the Airbus A380 was to move a lot of people from hub to hub, as well as its use at slot-constrained airports.
Rather than apply for a third set of flights, Etihad has added the equivalent of a third flight a day between Abu Dhabi and New York, by deploying its A380 – giving the airline capacity as well as comfort to its passengers.
The Airbus A380 is still a people-puller, even if the economics mean that a lot closer look has to be taken at where to operate it and the numbers to make it viable.
Providing it can keep the passenger flows stable, as well as grow its passenger base – who knows? Double-daily A380s are entirely possible…
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