Etihad Airways adds A380 to New York, Paris

The three room Residence ‘supersuite’ is naturally the most highly-prized pew, but first class is still superb.

By David Flynn, April 25 2024
Etihad Airways adds A380 to New York, Paris

International jetsetters will soon enjoy more chances to live the high life in Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 first class apartments as the Gulf carrier locks in the return of its superlative superjumbo to New York and Paris.

In fact, the Big Apple is already back on the departures boards, with one of Etihad’s two daily flights between Abu Dhabi and New York’s JFK Airport switching to an A380 earlier this week. The other remains a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

  • EY1 jets off from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport in the early hours at 2:55am, touching down in New York at 9:15am.
  • On the return, EY2 sees wheels from JFK up at 2pm, arriving at 11am the next day.
The 13-14 hour flight gives ample time to enjoy the inflight lounge.
The 13-14 hour flight gives ample time to enjoy the inflight lounge.

Paris is primed to follow suit from November 1, bringing the airline to a total of three cities featuring the A380, with London services already in the air since July last year.

  • EY31 from Abu Dhabi will take wing at 2:40am, landing in Paris at a cheery 7:30am.
  • EY32 out of Paris departs at 9:45am, touching down at 7:25pm.

Etihad’s famed Residence is the ultimate seating choice if your pockets are deep enough, though there’s anything wrong with the Etihad A380’s first class Apartment suites, of course.

Executive Traveller has always rated these as among the world’s very best first class suites thanks to their spacious 39ft2 (3.6m2) footprint, a wide leather lounge chair and a separate ottoman which converts into an 80” long lie-flat bed, plus upmarket touches such as a chilled mini-bar and vanity mirror with make-up lighting.

Etihad's spacious and well-appointed first class Apartment suites.
Etihad's spacious and well-appointed first class Apartment suites.

But Etihad’s The Residence goes above and beyond: it’s a deliberately over-the-top suite created to out-luxe rivals such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines during a hyper-competitive time in the air travel landscape.

After all, which other commercial jets let you enjoy a private lounge room and a bedroom with a cosy double bed and your very own shower suite?

The Residence will be offered to A380 first class flyers as the ultimate upgrade.
The Residence will be offered to A380 first class flyers as the ultimate upgrade.

Etihad has since cut back on its last-decade extravagances, removing not only The Residence’s dedicated butler and the A380s themselves, until “a surge in demand for air travel across the airline’s network” set the stage for the superjumbo’s return.

Travellers seated on the A380’s upper deck will have the opportunity to step inside the airline’s new first and business class lounges at Abu Dhabi Terminal A – home to everything from a rooftop cocktail bar to private Armani Casa suites with day beds.

The Constellation Bar is a rooftop drawcard for Etihad's new Abu Dhabi Terminal A lounges.
The Constellation Bar is a rooftop drawcard for Etihad's new Abu Dhabi Terminal A lounges.

In addition to buffet dining within the Rooftop Lounge, there’s also an exclusive First Lounge Dining Room with an à la carte menu and fine wine selection, with a private elevator to whisk high flyers up from the first class lounge.

The business class lounge’s equivalent is Liwan Global Dining – an informal all-day dining restaurant with live cooking stations, Emirati and Middle Eastern cuisines alongside international favourites.

Additional reporting by Chris Ashton.

30 May 2014

Total posts 12

Is Etihad changing some Heathrow services from A380 to other aircraft or are they bringing more A380's out of storage?

Their initial plan was to return 4 x  A380 to service for the 4 x daily Heathrow services.

Currently 3 daily Heathrow services are operated by the A380.

3 daily Heathrow services, daily Paris and daily JFK seems optimistic with four frames.

13 Sep 2022

Total posts 10

Great to see more EY A380s be deployed. However, we desperately need the A380 back in Sydney. The 1x daily flight with the old B777 just doesn't cut it, considering that before COVID we had 2x daily A380s.

10 Nov 2020

Total posts 4

Having just endured the terribly dated B777 business class on the AUH-SYD route of Etihad a week ago, after coming off a connection from the wonderful LHR-AUH A380, I have to agree with Agent. I've been waiting patiently for Etihad to bring back the A380 on the SYD service for years now. I've pretty much given up waiting and have been voting with my $$$ in taking other airlines. My recent flight was part of me chewing up a 7 figure number of Etihad points and it was extremely disappointing. My Platinum Guest status of 10-15 years standing with Etihad has now fallen to Gold, and it will continue to fall unless the A380 returns on this route. The B777 just too noisy, and the seating is several generations out of date. Don't even think about any storage for anything as there virtually is none. So I'm now Platinum with Qatar, and Star Alliance Gold. For me if its business class Europe-Sydney the preference is for Qatar, and if first class, it has to be Singapore. Previously for me the preference was Etihad every time. Such a shame to lose an old friend, but the recent B777 experience confirmed I'd made the right choice. I can't imagine how awful it would have been in economy on that plane with even more engine noise in the rear, and dated old economy seating. So Etihad please take note - your frequent passengers notice - and they are moving away.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 May 2022

Total posts 1

While it is good to see the A380 returning to more markets, I have to concur with others that is sad to see how much Etihad continues to neglect the Australian market. I note that both the JFK and CDG routes getting the A380s were previously operated by the A350 which have an excellent onbaord product (and virtually identical pax numbers to the 777). Perhaps if EY don't bring the A380 back to Australia we might be so lucky as to see the 777s upgraded to the A350 sometime soon. Until then, I'll continue to choose others for my hops to Europe, which is a shame because Etihad used to be my airline of choice.

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