04 May 2014 11:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced the first destinations for its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. 

The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s first A380 will operate commercially to London Heathrow from December 2014. A second A380 will operate on the same route from Q1 2015. By the end of 2015, Etihad Airways will have five of the type in operation, with plans to also introduce A380 operations to both Sydney and New York JFK. 

The first Etihad Airways B787-9 will enter commercial service in December 2014, with a second aircraft entering service in January 2015. As with the A380, by the end of 2015, Etihad Airways will have five of the type in operation. The first B787s will initially be deployed on Washington DC, Düsseldorf and Mumbai, with further route announcements to follow. 

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The A380 will be used to provide additional seats on existing routes where there is a need for increased capacity, and in particular, high demand for First and Business Class travel.” 

Etihad Airways has a total of 10 A380s on firm order. Four A380s will arrive in 2015, three in 2016 and two in 2017. 

Each aircraft is designed to carry 498 guests in four living spaces on the aircraft. This includes two VIP guests in The Residence by Etihad™, nine guests in the innovative First Class Apartments, 70 guests in the new Business Class Studios, and 417 guests in Economy Class. 

Mr Baumgartner added:  “Today is an historic day in the Etihad Airways story. We are the fastest growing airline in commercial aviation, and by unveiling our plans for this magnificent aircraft and setting new benchmarks in onboard product, service, hospitality and style, we have redefined what flying is all about.” 

Etihad Airways also has major plans for the B787 which enters the fleet in Q4 2014. 

In December the mostly composite aircraft will be deployed first on routes between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf, and services to Washington DC and Mumbai will commence in January 2015.  Services to other cities will be confirmed in 2015 as more B787s enter the fleet. 

The airline has a total of 71 B787s scheduled for delivery between the end of 2014 and 2023, including 41 B787-9s and 30 B787-10s, making it the largest operator of the aircraft type in the world. 

Two B787s are scheduled for delivery in Q4 2014 with three due to arrive in 2015, three in 2016 and nine in 2017.  All five initial B787 deliveries will have three living spaces aboard the aircraft, configured to carry 235 guests. 

There are eight First Suites in First Class, 28 Business Studios in Business Class and 199 Economy Smart Seats in Economy Class. 

Mr Baumgartner said:  “The B787 is a fantastic addition to our fleet and, similar to the A380, it sets new standards in terms of passenger comfort, product and, crucially, economics. 

“Over the coming years this next-generation aircraft will be used by Etihad Airways to launch flights to new destinations, add capacity in existing markets and progressively replace existing, less-efficient aircraft.” 

Some of the initial Etihad Airways A380 and B787 flights may be booked from today, online at etihad.com, through the Etihad Airways contact centre, or via travel agents.
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