Etihad to axe Perth-Abu Dhabi flights from October

By Chris C., April 10 2018
Etihad to axe Perth-Abu Dhabi flights from October

Virgin Australia partner Etihad Airways will end its Perth-Abu Dhabi flights from October 2 2018.

A spokesman for Etihad Airways confirmed to Australian Business Traveller its decision to pull the plug on Perth, saying "the cancellation of the Perth route is one of several adjustments that we are making to our network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability."

The airline's last flight from Abu Dhabi to Perth (EY486) will depart on September 30 2018, while the final Perth-Abu Dhabi flight (EY487) will take wing on October 1, reaching Abu Dhabi early in the morning on October 2 2018.

Passengers affected by cancellation of these flights are advised to contact the airline or the travel agency responsible for their booking to discuss alternative arrangements.

While Etihad currently flies its Boeing 787s to Perth, from April 16, that swaps to an Airbus A330 jet as previously reported, until the route ceases later in the year.

The cancellation comes as international flights from Perth are getting increasingly competitive, with arch rival Emirates planning to make Perth an all-A380 destination, while Qatar Airways is also bringing its superjumbos to the mining capital from May 1 2018.

Last month saw Qantas launch non-stop Perth-London flights using its Boeing 787 aircraft – removing the need to stopover in places like Abu Dhabi for London-bound flyers.

Other recent changes to Etihad's Australian routes have included withdrawing Airbus A380s from Melbourne in favour of double-daily Sydney-Abu Dhabi superjumbo flights, and removing first class from Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services.

Virgin Australia planned to launch its own Perth-Abu Dhabi flights back in 2017, but nixed those plans before the first flight left the runway, noting that "subsequent changes in market conditions have made the route no longer viable for Virgin Australia".

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 118

Looks like they have been out muscled by EK & QR soon to be 3 x daily A380’s. Something had to give I guess.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2015

Total posts 20

You wonder how long it will be before you see ‘etihad ceases to operate’ or ‘merges with emirates’

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 41

Unfortunately we could see this coming for a while. Competition is getting strong, which is great for WA travellers.

Sadly EY continues to decline. No longer what it was a few years back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 251

How can Qatar make this work with a daily A380 and Etihad can’t with a fuel efficient B787 and a330. Seems Qatar are trying to win pax over by flying an A380 and risk making a loss?

I remember taking Etihad flight to Perth in the first week they launched and subsequent trips to Europe the last few years, always full!

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

I love Qatar... but I think it's pretty well known that they aren't turning a profit and are adding destinations on a regular basis. Ethiad has reached a point, probably caused by poor investments, where they are watching costs and hence making cuts.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 87

The end of an era. It’s tough times for the ME3, and especially tough for Etihad.

There are political and other reasons why QR continues to operate aggressively. Emirates is a well-run operation with significant scale advantages. Etihad lacks either of those things.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Dec 2016

Total posts 31

I prefer Qatar and Emirates over Etihad anyway. Still sad to see them go though.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2017

Total posts 37

It's quite abhorrent how they treat their staff - and actually, anyone in general living in Qatar. How anyone can morally give that company or indeed country any money astounds me. Vote with your wallet!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 251

I agree and it’s not just Qatar.. Just few week ago an Emirates flight attendant committed suicide jumping from an airplane door. The treatment of their workers still won’t deter people away from flying these airlines end of day.

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 76

I know a girl who recently completed her contract with Emirates and she was very impressed with how she and everyone she knew was treated by Emirates.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 133

Emirates is *extremely* well regarded within the flight attendant community and usually rates as one of the best carriers to work for. Their retention rate, and job satisfaction rate, is high. The “suicide” mentioned was speculation, it seems the fall was an accident, unless I’ve missed a final report.

Qatar is not very well regarded and is a bit of a laughing stock in the industry because staff have poorer pay, worse living conditions and less freedom of movement than those at the UAE carriers - but to call them abhorrent is stretching the truth to breaking point. They have lots of ridiculous standards and restrictions (but no more so than many East Asian carriers, or indeed western hotel chains where I’ve worked) but the main issue seemed to be female staff getting pregnant and then getting fired which is a) not uncommon in Asian carriers, so is unfair to single them out for it and b) no longer much of an issue, with pregnant staff now being transferred to ground positions. They pay much better than most Asian carriers, but apparently their CEO is a nightmare to work with,

The Middle East 3 hire essentially all of their staff from overseas with a considerable number coming from the US and Western Europe so they have to have somewhat favourable working conditions to attract staff.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 251

I’m not disagreeing - but I’m not entirely convinced your correct here on a few points you have made. I wouldn’t say a considerable number come from the US at all, it’s mostly Eastern Europe,Asia,Africa. With UAE, for a country that had to create a Minister of Happiness kind of speaks for itself. Regarding the Emirates incident, the flight attendant opened the door behind the wing, one that does not routinely get opened and not get into detail but an object was placed somewhere to help achieve the intention. A family member of mine that has now left Etihad after 5 years could not stand the overworked conditions as a pilot and mistreatment by management. People would be afraid to call in sick, pilots fly exhausted, etc. The tax free pay was high in the few hundred $k but came at cost in other aspects like workers rights, living conditions especially for cabin crew - the Middle East is not as glamorous as it’s made out to be. For more info from people that actually work for ME3 airlines just google to hear their first hand accounts.


25 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

It fare to say that QF/one world has and better network out of Perth than VA and partners

A little while ago we had no QF international!!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 262

I’ve just landed in AUH en route back to PER, I’ll have to now get back on the 787 before it switches to the 330 which was the starting point of wondering which airline to change to.. SQ it will be but perhaps this is a sign to change alliances from VA to....

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

This is sad for me as I’ve been flying them exclusively from Perth to the US (JFK) and it’s always full in business. Why do I use them? Simple 1 connection great service but the most important thing is they have US preclearance in Abu Dhabi this means no waiting 2 or 3 hours at JFK to clear customs. I have no idea who I will fly with now and what to do with my Gold status, suggestions?

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 2

We are in same boat, my son has been flying Perth to JFK 3 times a year for the last two years, so easy. He has another 4 years at college there now so I’m stumped how I am going to get him there as hassle free as we do now. Just hope another airline else starts flying the same route.

04 May 2015

Total posts 268

Stumped? You could fly one-stop through Dubai, Doha, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, or heck, via London on Qantas+BA. Doesn't get you US preclearance or status recognition from Etihad Gold, but plenty of options and plenty of airlines to approach to discuss a status match.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

Fly via Dubai or if precheck in a must then make a 2 stop journey via Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne and Canada.

With Air Canada, between Perth and Sydney (MEL or BNE) you'll get your pick of either Virgin or Qantas and then Air Canada via Vancouver to New York.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 95

Etihad are also stopping the Edinburgh route this year as well.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 377

People seem to forget that Qantas dropped unprofitable routes when they were losing money not so long ago. Now they are massively profitable, they are expanding again.

It is easy to bag Etihad now, just as people did with Qantas. They may just grow stronger because of this.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 15

I wouldn't be surprised if VA now launch PER/AUH as rumour of additional 330s coming from EY.

25 Feb 2012

Total posts 78

I have been an EY user for many years . Again last year J class to Dublin ex Melbourne. I actually flew the last A380 into Melbourne from Auh . The best parts of the flights I took were some of the crews . I got one of the last chauffeur in Dublin Airport included in the ticket but no pjs ,no aminity bags ( except on the long leg ) I had to ask for a toothbrush and a razor in the business lounge !!!! Ran out of food on one leg. So sad to see this airline brought to its knees. But I suppose loosing$ 1. 8 bil will do that every time .

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 387

Is EY still losing money? A similar amount per month to the annualised $1.6b loss, or has that changed?

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