Etihad upgrades Melbourne flights to Boeing 777-300ER

By David Flynn, November 28 2013
Etihad upgrades Melbourne flights to Boeing 777-300ER

Etihad Airways will upgrade its daily service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi this week with a big Boeing 777-300ER – the airline's current flagship – flying the daily route from Sunday December 1st.

With 328 seats in a three-class configuration, the swap will add an extra 36 seats compared to the current Airbus A340-600.

And while that might not seem like much, it gives Etihad a shot of extra capacity on this growing route, says Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan.

“Etihad Airways’ Melbourne–Abu Dhabi flights are some of the strongest performers in our network – this year load factors between the two cities have averaged more than 80 per cent" Hogan relates.

“Switching to the Boeing 777 gives us 12 per cent more seats overall and 25 per cent more in business class. This will enable us to increase our share of the corporate and leisure travel market between Australia and Abu Dhabi and beyond to our worldwide network.”

Melbourne is due for another capacity bump this time next year, with Etihad's new Airbus A380 slated to fly to Melbourne and Sydney in late 2014.

Etihad has 10 Airbus A380s on order with first deliveries due in late 2014, with each carrying a standard three-class layout of first, business and economy. London and New York will also join Sydney and Melbourne on the airline's superjumbo network.

Etihad will also open 'premium lounges' for its first and business class passengers at Sydney and Melbourne airports next year, with travellers from partner airline Virgin Australia also enjoying access when travelling on codeshared Etihad flights.

Read: Etihad to open Sydney, Melbourne airport lounges in 2014

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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.

21 Apr 2013

Total posts 34

what about brisbane

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 267

Good question. They could fly that A346 non stop to BNE if it's not allocated to another route, reflecting the current EK double dailies.

08 May 2013

Total posts 18

Hopefully if the a380s start flying to Melbourne & Sydney next year that will free up those 777-300ER's which can then deploy to Brisbane operating direct flights

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 742

An "upgrade" in the sense that it's a larger plane.

But, as I understand it, a massive downgrade for passengers (in the non-pointy end at least) who will trade the relative comfort of an eight-abreast A340 for the ridiculous squeeziness of a ten-abreast 777.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 May 2012

Total posts 76

I agree with hugo, I will go out of my way to NOT fly in any ten abreast economy 777's. After you fly on one of SQ, MH or TG 777's (3-3-3) in economy I dont know how anyone can subject themselves to EY or EK's sardine cans.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1451

Another agree with Hugo - why there is ALWAYS "upgrade" when they merely change plane and not nesesarily for better one?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 46

After a ghastly flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur a year ago, crammed into one of his dirty uncomfortable planes, Hogan hasn't got a hope in hell of getting me back on one of his planes any time soon.  

The problem with people like him and the leprechaun is that these out of touch CEO's have no idea what it is like to travel "down the back" on their own airlines.  They are pampered and cossetted by fawning staff when they fly everywhere in First Class. 

I am well aware that we "get what we pay for" but airline seating has now gone past the point of providing any modicum of comfort.  I am not looking for the cheapest seat, I am looking for a comfortable seat at a reasonable - not rock bottom - price.  

I am alarmed at the health and safety issues being generated by ever more seats being crammed in to planes,  and, more importantly, how these planes could be evacuated in an emergency.


30 Aug 2013

Total posts 444

Why don't they consider going double-daily if its such a strong route??

09 Aug 2012

Total posts 21

Dammit Etihad!! 2-4-2 economy is the reason people prefer airlines like Etihad on long haul routes like MEL-AUH

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 117

EY has big plans for MEL in 2014;

- Extra flights to compliment the existing service 

- A380 Introduced in late 2014 

- New Etihad Lounge to open in the 2nd half of 2014

This makes me wonder how QR will react, with EK & EY sending their whalejets down to MEL, will they do the same too? QR currently is not allowed to increase their frequency due to the bi-lateral cap, however if they wish to send an A380 on the existing daily service they can, I believe QR will receive their own A380's before EY, but they already marked LHR & CDG - I'll sure put QR ontop of my list if they do as I can earn and burn OW miles with them!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1264

I'm actually quite fond of the A346 from an aesthetic POV. And we don't really see too many of them in these parts nowadays, do we.

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