Etihad Airways: the latest Airbus A380 fleet developments

Etihad Airways Airbus A380 is returning to the sky soon
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Since announcing the return of four of its 10 Airbus A380 aircraft in December 2022, Etihad Airways has been slowly restoring the double-decker jets to service and bringing the aircraft back to its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).  

The latest aircraft to return to AUH was an Airbus A380, registered as A6-API, which returned from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN), China, on July 17, 2023. The aircraft underwent maintenance at XMN, when it flew to the Chinese airport on May 4, 2023, from its previous long-term storage location at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport (LDE), France. 

Taking its place was another Etihad Airways Airbus A380, registered as A6-APJ, which flew to XMN for maintenance on July 11, 2023. It left Teruel Airport (TEV), Spain, where it has been sitting idly at since April 2021. 

The two other A380s that Etihad Airways plans to return to service have returned to AUH. A6-APH returned to the airline’s only hub on June 21, 2023, from LDE, where it flew to on May 10, 2023, from TEV. The aircraft has remained inactive ever since. 

Meanwhile, A6-APG returned to AUH in March 2023. It last operated a three-hour test flight taking off from and landing at the same airport on July 15, 2023. 

A380 replacing Boeing 777-300ERs 

When the Etihad Airways announced that four Airbus A380s would return by summer 2023, it said that the aircraft would exclusively operate flights between AUH and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and be fitted with The Residence, a three-suite apartment available only on the airline’s A380s. 

The Residence fits up to two guests and features a shower, bedroom, and a separate living area. Two of these apartments will be fitted in the airline’s super jumbos. 

In addition, the aircraft are equipped with nine first class, 70 business class, and 405 economy class seats. 

According to Etihad Airways’ booking schedule, the first date the A380 will depart AUH for LHR is July 25, 2023, carrying out flight EY11. 

Since July 15, 2023, the flight has been operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. It had previously been carried out by the Airbus A350-1000 or the Boeing 787-10. 

Etihad Airlines offers four daily flights to LHR in total.  

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