Although neighbouring airline Emirates has already reinstated almost all of its Airbus A380s, this hasn’t been the case for Etihad Airways. The Abu Dhabi based airline did not bring back the giant airliner in the post pandemic era, until now. Latest news from Etihad is that they are gearing up part of their A380 fleet to return to operations in 2023. Let’s find out what the news is all about.
When And How Will The Etihad A380 Return?
Etihad Airways’ target is to get these planes flying again by summer 2023. This will help cover the surge of passengers expected in the coming year all the more than in 2022.
Having the A380s back in the sky will allow the airline to free up other aircrafts to fly other routes. This will clearly grant Etihad a greater operational flexibility.
Summer 2023 is expected by many to see travel reach pre pandemic levels, which means that airlines will probably be gasping for extra capacity and seats to cope with demand.
A380 Routes and Configuration
Don’t get too excited though, Etihad is bringing back only 4 of its Airbus A380s and only on one route initially. The 4 reinstate planes will serve the busy London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi sector.
Only if there is a clear emergency in terms of capacity and seat availability the airline will think about bringing others of the type back. Also fuel prices will have to be favourable for this to happen. So don’t hold your breath.
As for the configuration of these 4 Etihad A380s they feature:
- 9 First Class Apartments
- 70 Business Class seats
- 405 Economy Class seats
At the moment the airline is working on getting these 4 A380s fit for service after having been stored for quite some time. Not only the aircraft has to be prepared but also crew needs to be re-trained.
Etihad, since storing the planes, hasn’t continued the recurring training for the crew on this aircraft type. This means that both pilots and cabin crew need to go through the specific A380 training to operate on this plane once again.