02 Jun 2016 10:30
Etihad Airways much-anticipated A380 touches down in Melbourne tonight, beginning a new era of luxury travel on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi and Melbourne-London routes.
joins Etihad Airways’ expanding network of A380 destinations
- Brings The
Residence and class-leading, next-generation cabins to the route
- A Butler, Inflight Chef,
Flying Nanny and Food and Beverage Managers offer innovative hospitality
a seamless A380 service to London via Abu Dhabi
The A380 features The Residence, the
world’s first three-room private suite on a commercial aircraft, as well as
ground-breaking innovations in all cabins.
The inaugural Abu Dhabi-Melbourne
A380 flight – EY460 – departed Abu Dhabi Airport at 10.15pm last night and is
scheduled to arrive at Melbourne Airport at 5.45pm this evening. The aircraft,
in the airline’s eye-catching ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi livery, will be welcomed to
the Victorian capital by a traditional water cannon salute. The return
Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flight – EY461 – will depart Melbourne at 10.10pm tonight.
From today, the flagship superjumbo
will operate one of the airline’s double daily flights between Melbourne and
Abu Dhabi. It will replace one of the three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
currently deployed on the route.
Etihad Airways Senior Vice
President of Marketing, Shane O’Hare, said: “Today marks another major milestone
for Etihad Airways in Australia.
“With Melbourne joining our A380 network, Australia is the only
country in our global network with daily A380 services to two cities –
Melbourne and Sydney.
“Deploying our latest technology aircraft and class-leading
product and service to Australia recognises its importance to our business and
the strong demand from Australian travellers for premium travel experiences.
“From the product and service innovations in every cabin to our inspired
approach to hospitality, the Etihad Airways A380 offers touches of luxury to
every guest and sets the benchmark for inflight comfort, entertainment, connectivity
“As an added bonus for guests whose destination is London, we now
offer the convenience and class-leading comfort of an all-A380 service all the
The A380 will increase the total number
of two-way seats on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi route by 26 per cent to more than
11,500 seats per week.
Mr O’Hare said this would ease
the capacity constraints on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi, particularly for business and
premium leisure travel.
“Our Abu Dhabi to Melbourne services generate very high seat load
“The A380, with 70 seats in business class, enables us to better
meet the demand we have for our premium cabins and will boost our market share of
this important segment.”
Lyell Strambi, CEO Melbourne Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome
Etihad’s flagship service, the Airbus A380, to Melbourne Airport.
partnership with Etihad continues to go from strength to strength since the
airline’s arrival to Melbourne Airport in 2009. Last year we were thrilled by
the introduction of a second daily service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi and
a new Premium Lounge opened at Melbourne Airport last month. Now, capacity has
been increased again with the upgauge to an A380, replacing one of the
airline’s daily 777 services.”
in Melbourne life, particularly in our sporting culture, Etihad’s name looms large
over our city’s second biggest stadium and the airline is the principal partner
of the Melbourne City Football Club.”
Melbourne to Abu Dhabi route is an important connector for Victorians to Europe
with this market already experiencing considerable growth since Etihad’s second
daily service commenced last August.”
arrival of Etihad’s A380 is a great show of commitment to Melbourne and
Victoria by this important airline partner and plays an important part in
meeting our expected growth in passenger numbers.”
A380 carries 496 passengers in a four-class configuration: The Residence, First
Apartments, Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats. It offers an
unprecedented level of luxury, space and privacy in the most highly customised cabin
interior in commercial aviation.
The Residence, an ultra-exclusive private three-room
suite, is unique to Etihad Airways. Measuring 125 square feet in total area, it
is located on the forward upper deck of the A380 and is available for single or
Features include a living room, separate ensuite
shower room and a double bedroom. It has a
large 32” LCD monitor in the living room and a separate 24” version in the bedroom.
Its exclusive hospitality offering includes a personal
Butler, trained at the world-renowned Savoy Butler Academy in London and
dedicated to meeting the needs of discerning guests. An onboard Chef
complements the Butler service, offering a bespoke, made-to-order dining
There are nine First Apartments in First Class. These
are private living spaces featuring a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman,
upholstered in the finest quality Poltrona Frau leather. The ottoman opens up
to become a separate 80.5” long fully flat bed. In addition, each First
Apartment has a 24” LCD TV monitor, a chilled mini bar and personal vanity
unit. A fully equipped shower room is available for the exclusive use of First
Seventy Business Studios are located on the upper deck
of the A380, all offering direct aisle access, a fully flat bed of up to 80.5”
long, and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space. Upholstered in Poltrona
Frau leather, the Business Studio is equipped with an in-seat massage and a
pneumatic cushion control system.
The Lobby, a luxurious lounge located between the
First Class and Business Class cabins, features two comfortable leather sofas
and a staffed bar serving a selection of snacks and refreshments.
The main deck features 415 Economy Smart Seats, which
provide enhanced comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat,
adjustable lumbar support, a seat width of approximately 19”, and an 11.1”
personal TV monitor.
Guests in all cabins enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3
entertainment system with more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, live
TV news and sport channels, improved gaming, and high definition screens across
all cabins. The A380 has full mobile and Wi-Fi service, with USB and power
points at every seat.
The airline’s world-renowned hospitality offering
includes innovative services such as Flying Nannies and onboard Food and
Nanny, trained by the world-famous Norland College in the UK, is on board every
B787 Dreamliner flight to provide assistance to families travelling with young
Food and Beverage Managers,
handpicked from the world’s top hotels and restaurants, guide guests in
Business Class through the extensive a la carte and dine anytime options and
provide recommendations on the ideal beverage to accompany their meal choice.
Etihad Airways’ double daily
service from Melbourne provides travellers from Victoria access to more than
900 weekly connections in 50 markets across the Gulf region, the Middle East,
Africa and Europe.
Within Australia and to New
Zealand, Etihad Airways codeshares on Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand flights
from Melbourne to Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch,
Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Launceston,
Mildura, Newcastle, Perth, Queenstown, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, and Wellington.
commenced daily services to Melbourne on 29 March 2009. It added a second daily
flight to the route on 1 August 2015, making it the only airline with double
daily non-stop services between Melbourne and the United Arab Emirates.
The commencement of
A380 services to Melbourne complements the airline’s recently opened Premium Lounge
at Melbourne Airport. The 800m2 space, with the ambience of a sophisticated
restaurant and bar, is the airline’s largest airport lounge outside its Abu
Dhabi home base. It also features a separate private lounge for the exclusive
use of guests travelling in The Residence.
Flights to and from
Melbourne can be booked with a travel agent, Etihad Airways Contact Centre or
at etihad.com. A round trip fare for The Residence between Melbourne and Abu
Dhabi is A$70,900 plus applicable taxes, and between Melbourne and London
A$111,200 plus applicable taxes.
The Abu Dhabi-based
airline has strong ties to the city of Melbourne and the state of Victoria
through partnerships with Etihad Stadium, Melbourne City Football Club, Sport
Australia Hall of Fame, Melbourne Recital Centre and Islamic Museum of