Etihad to fly Airbus A380 to Sydney from June 1, 2015

By David Flynn, August 28 2014

Etihad will begin Airbus A380 flights between Sydney and Abu Dhabi from 1 June 2015.

The daily superjumbo service will run as EY454 (Abu Dhabi to Sydney) and EY455 (Sydney to Abu Dhabi), replacing the current Boeing 777-300.

A Boeing 777-300 will also run the airline's EY450/EY451 Abu Dhabi-Sydney services.

Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan said the new A380 services would offer travellers on the Sydney route an unrivalled level of luxury, comfort and service.

“The new living spaces on our A380s will raise inflight product and service standards to the highest level ever in commercial aviation and change forever travellers’ expectations of air travel."

On top of that comes the convenience of a daily continuous A380 through to London, which will be served by a triple-daily superjumbo service by 1 May.

Reservations for Etihad's new Airbus A380 Abu Dhabi-Sydney flights open today for travel from 1 June 2015.

We've plugged a few dates into the booking system and are seeing Sydney-London return fares around $13,360 for first class suites and $8,880 for business class.

However, only one passenger will be able to score the exclusive better-than-first pad known as The Residence, which is a private three-room supersuite – think of it as a penthouse in the sky – with its own living room, bedroom and bathroom/shower suite, with a Savoy-trained butler on call.

The Residence: living room
The Residence: living room

Measuring an unparalleled 125 square feet in total area, The Residence is located on the forward upper deck of the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A380s and will be available for single or double occupancy.

The first of its kind for the superjumbo, Etihad raises the bar in tough competition for well-heeled travellers.

The Residence: bathroom
The Residence: bathroom

A door and passageway separate the living room from the master bedroom and the ensuite shower room. The bedroom features a Poltrona Frau upholstered 82 inch long double bed with custom-made mattress, bedside unit, wardrobe, and under-bed stowage for hand luggage.

The Residence: bedroom
The Residence: bedroom

And the cost of all this sky-luxe? Using dates in June 2015, a return trip from Sydney to London in The Residence will cost $86,500.

(However, we should point out that two people can fly in The Residence for the cost of the one ticket – Etihad's pricing model is similar to that of a hotel room.)

If you miss out on The Residence, you can console yourself with one of nine First Apartments.

With a total area of 39 square feet, each suite boasts a 30.3 inch reclining lounge chair and separate full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide fully flat bed.

The Apartment
The Apartment

Adding to the home design touches, the First Apartment includes a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe and a separate vanity unit with lit make-up mirrors and stocked with luxury branded amenities.

The Apartment: vanity area
The Apartment: vanity area

If business class is the best your budget (or company travel policy) can manage, there are 70 Business Studios along the top deck.

Designed as a space where travellers can 'work, rest and play', the suite-style enclosures are arranged in a 1-2-1 'dovetail' configuration so that every passenger has direct access to the aisle.

Etihad's A380 Business Studio
Etihad's A380 Business Studio

The centre studios are ideal for guests travelling together but have a full height screen between the seats if you value privacy over sociability, and at meal times, there's a sturdy 16" x 18" dining table:

Etihad's A380 Business Studio
Etihad's A380 Business Studio

The suite has a 22 inch wide seat and separate ottoman, which together form a lie-flat bed up to 80.5 inches (2.04 metres) long.

Etihad's A380 Business Studio
Etihad's A380 Business Studio

Each passengers gets a side table for parking their laptop, tablet, books and other items.

Read more: Etihad reveals new Business Studios for Airbus A380, Boeing 787

Want to stretch your legs? Head to The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar located between the first and business class cabins.

Etihad's A380 Lobby lounge
Etihad's A380 Lobby lounge

Even the economy seats are extra-comfortable, thanks to a smart design which includes a 'fixed wing' headrest.

Upholstered in locally-sourced camel leather, the headrest is designed to provide a firm surface for guests to lean on while sleeping.

The seats are nearly 19 inches wide and arranged in a 3-4-3 fashion with a standard 31-32 inch pitch.

There's a fleece blanket and pillow on every seat, along with convenient entertainment and a connectivity hub in the seatback in front, with all services at easy reach.

Etihad says the 11.1 inch touchscreen monitors will serve up more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment through noise-cancelling headsets, along with a café service featuring hot chocolates and cappuccinos – the sort of creature comforts usually reserved for the pointy end of the plane.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

An outstanding move by one of the worlds great airlines.Will leave Qantas and others in the dust and allow me further seperation than those in the back.

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

EK,OF,QR should all just give up now etihad have by far got the best cabins on the one stop Australian flights followed by sq who are still miles behind

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

Tempted to book a June holiday for 2015 now. Might wait til they announce dates for A380 to NYC too. That's a long flight - but will be tolerable on the A380. 

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

Be a little quicker if you flew east.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 124

Westward to New York - are you insane?

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

Not insane. With Etihad I might fly further and longer, but it's often cheaper than Pacific flights. Also, when ensconced in their First suites (and I'd imagine more so in the new First apartments) time certainly flies. I'm a big Etihad fan. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Mar 2014

Total posts 5

I've heard rumours of VA departing the SYD-AUH route. I wonder if it will coincide with this change.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

Oh dear.  Another nail in the QF coffin.  Have been a very loyal QFF for many years on my x 4 visit every year to LHR.  Once Qatar air comes to SYD then it will be very hard to stay loyal.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 169

Has there been an official delay on this launch? I had a A380 j flight booked but seem to be swapped out to a A340-600 ? As youd imagine massive difference in experience.


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