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Etihad Airways to Use Airbus A380 on Abu Dhabi-New York Route

Etihad Airways to Use Airbus A380 on Abu Dhabi-New York Route


Etihad Airways will use the Airbus A380 on its route between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) starting April 22, 2024. The double-decker aircraft is essential to accommodate the growing demand for travel to Abu Dhabi. This deployment comes ahead of the summer travel season and as corporate travel continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Photo: AeroXplorer | Raul Sepulveda


Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad Airways CEO, said about the A380s:




"We're thrilled to start flying our remarkable A380 across the Atlantic, and we know our guests love the onboard experience. Whether they are flying in Economy, Business, First or the three-room suite in the sky, The Residence, they will enjoy elevated levels of service from our dedicated crew, and ensure they arrive in the city that never sleeps refreshed and relaxed. We know this is important for all our guests, not least our corporate customers, and the timing and comfort provided by the A380 means they can arrive fresh and ready for their business appointments."


Photo: AeroXplorer | Ryan Wang


Etihad is focusing more on the U.S. market in its future expansion plans. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier recently announced the launch of a new route to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), which is scheduled to start on March 31, 2024. Etihad also offers nonstop U.S. flights to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).


Introducing the world's largest passenger aircraft on the New York-JFK route suggests strong U.S. demand to visit Abu Dhabi or simply connect through AUH. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular connecting destination for passengers flying between North America, Asia, and Africa due to its relatively central location. Etihad also offers stopover packages, with accommodation included, for passengers interested in visiting Abu Dhabi during a long layover.


Photo: AeroXplorer | Sebastian Colaizzi


Etihad will now use the A380 for flights to two destinations: New York-JFK and London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Aside from being major tourist destinations, New York and London, two of the world's largest financial hubs, are popular destinations for business travelers. This announcement comes one day after British hedge fund manager Alan Howard laid out a vision for Abu Dhabi to become a global financial hub. Etihad and Abu Dhabi should provide good competition against the dominance of Emirates and Dubai in the UAE's aviation industry.




Etihad's A380s are famous for their extravagant onboard experience. Economy class offers 337 regular seats and 68 with additional legroom. All passengers receive fixed-wing headrests and large pillows. The economy class seats are on the aircraft's lower deck.


Passengers sitting in The Lobby | Photo: Etihad


Etihad's A380s can accommodate 70 business class passengers and nine first class passengers on the upper deck. Aside from offering private seats, this floor has a lounge and bar area for passengers in both cabin classes. The Lobby allows passengers to socialize with each other during the flight. 


Passengers flying first class do not simply get lie-down seats and more exclusive amenities on Etihad. The airline also provides a table, a second seat that transforms into a lie-flat bed, and access to a shower.


The living room inside The Residence | Photo: Etihad


The luxury does not stop there: Etihad is the world's only airline to offer a three-room suite in the sky. The Residence features apartment-style living through a living room, bedroom, and bathroom with a shower. Although business and first class passengers receive luxurious dining amenities, those in The Residence can eat in a "designated" room or even in their bed. Etihad's commitment to luxury on its A380s makes it an attractive carrier for passengers to fly on.





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George Mwangi
Aviation writer based in Washington, DC. Visited 21 countries on thousands of miles of flights.

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