Etihad Airways will downgrade one of its two daily Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights to a Boeing 777-300ER from October 2018 to late May 2019, except for an eight-week window over the peak summer season.
Flight EY451 – which departs Sydney at 3pm for a midnight arrival into Abu Dhabi – and the EY450 return leg will step back to a Boeing 777 from 20 October 2018 to 4 December 2018, and then again from 7 February 2019 to 30 May 2019.
Between the December-February dates listed above, EY451/EY450 will see a return of Etihad's Airbus A380.
However, the airline's other daily service (EY454/455) will continue to feature the superjumbo.
What's the impact on this on business travellers already booked to fly on EY450/EY451?
We'd suggest contacting Etihad Airways, your travel agent or travel manager to shift onto flights EY454/455, given that the Boeing 777 has Etihad's last-generation business class seats – while still decent, they're a step behind the A380's Business Studio design – and lacks the superjumbo's Lobby social lounge/bar area.
A statement issued by Etihad Airways said the swap was made necessary "due to routine maintenance" and promises the airline "will notify guests booked on these services where necessary, to advise them of this temporary adjustment."