The Superjumbo Returns: Etihad Airways Celebrates Airbus A380 Inaugural Flight From Abu Dhabi To London Heathrow

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is today celebrating the return to service of its Airbus A380 on a special inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow.

The first of Etihad’s four Airbus A380s returns to the sky from today on the popular Abu Dhabi-London Heathrow route.

Today’s inaugural flight departed Abu Dhabi at 0205 hrs and landed at London Heathrow at 0645 hrs local time. Prior to take-off, executives from Etihad, Abu Dhabi Airport and the Department of Culture and Tourism gathered to welcome back the aircraft. On board, guests were treated to A380 themed souvenirs to celebrate the occasion.

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, says: “We’re excited to once again welcome guests onboard Etihad’s A380s and step into a truly remarkable experience. Whether our guests are choosing to fly in Economy, Business, First or our three-room suite in the sky The Residence, this aircraft provides an elevated flying experience which we take extreme pride in.

“The aircraft adds much needed capacity connecting Abu Dhabi with London Heathrow and allows us to build our network and increase frequencies across the network. With a surge in demand for travel over the summer, the return of our much-loved A380 comes at the perfect time.”

Onboard Etihad’s A380

Guests flying with in Economy are greeted on board in a dedicated welcome area. The Economy cabin features 68 Economy Space seats offering an additional 4 inches in leg room, and 337 Economy Smart seats that come with Etihad’s signature fixed-wing headrest and large pillows for added comfort.

70 Business Studios® are available on Etihad’s A380 upper deck, granting privacy to customers and creating a serene atmosphere. On the upper deck, guests can enjoy access to The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar area located between the First and Business cabins. In addition, guests will benefit from Etihad’s unique partnership with Armani/Casa, delivering an elevated Business experience. The dining service features ceramics, glassware, cutlery and serving ware, as well as premium textiles and a memory foam mattress for a completely luxurious inflight experience. 

Guests can choose from nine First Apartments featuring a private living space with exquisite amenities and designer tableware, a wide leather lounge chair and a separate ottoman which converts into an 80″ lie-flat bed. First class guests can freshen up in the comfort of the Apartment with personal vanity units, as well as take advantage of the First class shower room.

The Residence

The Residence is the world’s only three-room suite in the sky with guests able to enjoy service and hospitality from a dedicated team of Etihad cabin crew. Available to book for up to two guests, The Residence features a private living room, bedroom and ensuite bathroom where guests can refresh in a shower at 40,000ft.

The guests’ choice of meals will be prepared from an à la carte menu which will be served on designer tableware in the private living room, or they could choose to wake up with breakfast in bed. Indulgent options range from gourmet cuisine to lighter refreshments and include luxuries such as champagne and caviar and The Residence Signature High Tea.

Connecting London and Abu Dhabi

Etihad’s A380 aircraft will operate on the Abu Dhabi – London route on flights EY11 and EY12 from 25 July and on EY19 and EY20 from 1 August. Etihad’s A380s will connect people between the UK, the UAE and onwards across the Etihad network.