Etihad restarts Airbus A380 services to New York-JFK with a new daily flight  

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Etihad Airways has brought its Airbus A380 superjumbos back to New York-JFK Airport, with the first flight departing Abu Dhabi on the morning of April 22, 2024, heading westbound towards the ‘Big Apple’.  

As reported by AeroTime in November 2023, Etihad Airways announced that its small fleet of Airbus A380s would return to operating scheduled passenger services to the US city after a hiatus of around four years brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

At the start of the pandemic, Etihad Airways grounded its entire fleet of 10 A380s with no plans to return them to commercial service. However, this decision was later reversed when in the summer of 2023, the carrier returned the first of four of its aircraft to the airline’s flagship Abu Dhabi to London-Heathrow (LHR) route.  

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At the time, Etihad announced that it planned to fly the much-reduced A380 fleet exclusively between these two cities with no firm plans to fly the superjumbos to any other destination. That plan later evolved when on November 30, 2023, the airline announced that the type would also be re-introduced on its daily flight to New York from April 2024. At the time of writing, flight EY1 is currently over the Atlantic heading west toward the US, being operated by A380-800 A6-API. 

Alongside the A380 daily service (previously flown by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner) Etihad is maintaining a second daily flight to New York, which will remain operated by one of the carrier’s fleet of 33 787-9s.  

According to ch-aviation, Etihad took delivery of its first A380 in 2014 and started flying them to New York in 2015. The four aircraft still in active service are configured for 485 passengers in a unique five-class configuration – four in first class, 70 in business class, 80 in economy plus, and 325 in economy class. The aircraft also features the airline’s exclusive ‘The Residence’ offering, which is a private three-room suite located at the front of the first-class cabin. This is said to be the most exclusive product available in present-day commercial aviation.  

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“Etihad is thrilled to fly its passengers on the A380 across the Atlantic, and to provide customers with an elevated experience,” said Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, Antonoaldo Neves. “Whether they are flying in Economy, Business, First, or the three-room suite in the sky, The Residence, our customers will enjoy elevated levels of service from our dedicated crew, and ensure they arrive in the city that never sleeps refreshed and relaxed.”  

“We know this is important for all our guests, not least our corporate customers, and the timing and comfort provided by the A380 means they can arrive fresh and ready for their business appointments. Putting the A380 on the popular New York route makes sense as we satisfy customer demand for more capacity, further growing our expanding network,” Neves added. 

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