Etihad Airways says it has no plans to ditch its flagship Airbus A380s and remains "committed to the delivery" of the Airbus A350-1000, although "the global network" is under review in light of the impact of the coronavirus on worldwide travel demand.
All ten of the Gulf carrier's superjumbos – home to the opulent three-room Residence and nine spacious first class Apartment suites – remain grounded, with Etihad's current schedule relying on the Boeing 777 and Boeing 787.
An earlier report by news service Reuters claimed the fate of the A380 hinged on forecasts of the post-coronavirus travel market.
However, an Etihad spokesman assured Executive Traveller that "the Airbus A380 remains an important part of the Etihad fleet and is well suited to a number of key routes, which are planned to be gradually reintroduced once international restrictions are lifted, and global travel picks up."
Likewise, he denied claims that the airline could cancel its outstanding order for the Airbus A350-1000, saying "Etihad is also committed to the delivery of its future fleet of Airbus A350-1000s and has selected the routes to be operated by this aircraft."
Etihad has 20 A350-1000s on order, the first of which were due to begin flying in 2019. The airline has yet to detail if those jets would include four first class suites similar to those of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, or if the A350s will top out at business class using the airline's Business Studio seats.