ETIHAD Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has reaffirmed its commitment to start Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operations in December 2014, with additional flights on sale this week for both aircraft and an extensive pilot training program now underway.
During its first year of operations, it stated that the Airbus A380 would be deployed on Etihad Airways’ three daily flights between Abu Dhabi and London, together with selected flights to Sydney, which was recently confirmed as the second destination to be served by the aircraft.
Between December 2014 and June 2015, the Boeing 787-9 will be introduced on six of the airline’s routes, including Düsseldorf, Doha, Washington DC, Mumbai, Brisbane and Moscow.
Etihad Airways will debut its exciting new First, Business and Economy Class products onboard the forthcoming aircraft, and will also introduce The Residence by Etihad™, a ground-breaking concept exclusive to its Airbus A380, which features the only three-room cabin in the sky.
The President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, James Hogan said: “Our initial Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights have been on sale for almost four months and demand has exceeded our expectations, showing that the public share our passion for comfort, service, hospitality and style.
“The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 will play a fundamental role in the development of Etihad Airways’ network. On existing high demand routes such as London and Sydney, the A380 will provide additional seats and meet demand for increased capacity, especially in First and Business Class. The Boeing 787-9 will be used to launch flights to new destinations, add capacity in existing markets and progressively replace existing, less-efficient aircraft.”
According to the airline, tickets can also be purchased on Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 service between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, with the aircraft operating on selected flights from 1 June 2015.
Each Airbus A380 has been designed to carry 496 passengers in four living spaces, including 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 415 guests in Economy Class.
Etihad Airways has 71 Boeing 787s on order, including 41 B787-9s and 30 B787-10s, making it the world’s largest operator of the aircraft type. Deliveries commence this year and the aircraft will operate on the Düsseldorf and Doha routes from December 2014, followed by Washington DC and Mumbai from 1 January 2015, and Brisbane and Moscow from 1 June 2015.
Hogan said: “With additional routes for our Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 now on sale, passengers have a unique opportunity to experience the most advanced cabins in aviation history. This applies on services between our Abu Dhabi hub and the selected routes, and seamlessly on connecting services where Abu Dhabi is a stopover.
” For instance, once the A380 is operating between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, and Abu Dhabi and Sydney, our passengers can fly on the aircraft between London and Sydney from June 2015.”
Meanwhile, Etihad Cargo, the freight division of United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier Etihad Airways, has unveiled a new Equine service called SkyStables, targeted at customers around the world wishing to transport horses and other similar species by air.
The service has been rolled-out across Etihad Cargo’s scheduled network of 44 freighter destinations with personalized charter services to other cities also available.
The Chief Strategy and Planning Officer of the airline, Kevin Knight said: “Our new global SkyStables product is a tangible example of innovation being at the very forefront of how we continue to develop our business by adding more services for new and existing customers.
“SkyStables goes beyond simply meeting the safety, security and reliability needs of equine owners, offering a more comprehensive air transport solution which is overseen by dedicated and fully trained Etihad Cargo equine managers”.