01 Jun 2015 11:00
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 EtihadTM, the airline’s luxurious private three-room suite in the
sky, a first in commercial aviation, as well as groundbreaking innovations in
The inaugural Abu Dhabi-Sydney
A380 flight – EY454 – departed Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10pm last
night and is scheduled to touch down at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport at
5.55pm 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 9.25pm 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
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’
President and Chief Executive Officer, 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 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.
James 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.”
Sydney Airport Managing Director
and Chief Executive Officer, Kerrie Mather, said: “Sydney Airport is thrilled
to be the first and only airport in Australia and one of only two destinations
in the world to welcome Etihad’s new flagship A380 service.
“The upgrade will bolster Sydney
Airport’s status as the leading airport globally for next-generation aircraft
and boost tourism to Sydney and NSW by increasing seat capacity.”
Etihad Airways’ new A380 cabins
offer an unprecedented level of luxury, space and privacy in the most highly
customised commercial cabin interior ever.
The Residence by Etihad™, the
world’s only private three-room cabin on a commercial aircraft, features a
living room, separate ensuite shower room, double bedroom, and a dedicated
Savoy-trained Butler. It features a large 32” LCD monitor in the living room
and a separate 24” version in bedroom. Measuring 125 square feet in total, The
Residence by Etihad™ is located on the forward upper deck of the A380 and is
available for single or double occupancy.
The nine First Apartments in
First Class are private living spaces featuring a reclining lounge chair and an
ottoman, upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, which opens up to become a
separate 80.5 inch long fully flat bed. Each First Apartment offers a 74 per
cent increase in space over the airline’s current award-winning First Class
Suites, a 24” LCD TV monitor and personal vanity unit. A fully equipped shower
room is available for the exclusive use of First Class guests.
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 inches 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
The main deck features 417
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 inches, and an 11.1” personal TV monitor.
Etihad Airways has introduced
the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system on its A380 fleet, providing more
than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, 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.
Etihad Airways’ partner airline,
Virgin Australia, will codeshare on the new A380 services.
Within Australia and to New
Zealand, Etihad Airways codeshares on Virgin Australia flights from Sydney to Adelaide, Albury, Auckland,
Ayers Rock (Uluru), Ballina, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Coffs
Harbour, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hervey Bay, Hobart, Launceston,
Mackay, Melbourne, Perth, Port Macquarie, Queenstown, Sunshine Coast, Tamworth