Woohoo! By now you’ve surely all heard about Etihad Airways’ new A380, which began commercial service between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow as of December 27, 2014.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment cabin
I had the chance to fly on the Etihad A380 inaugural flight in a First Class Apartment, and suffice to say the product blew me away.
While Emirates is taking delivery of well over a hundred A380s, Etihad doesn’t have nearly as many on order, which is why they’re keeping them for “special” routes. Etihad has only ordered a total of 10 of the whale jets, which will be delivered over the coming years.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, seat 4K
My understanding is that the plan is to only fly the A380 to London, Sydney, and New York:
- The London A380 flights started as of late December 2014, and soon additional frequencies will be operated by the A380 as well
- The Sydney A380 flights start as of June 2015
- Up until now they’ve announced that New York service should launch as of “late” 2015, though nothing beyond that
Etihad A380 The Residence, bedroom
Etihad A380 flying to New York as of December 1, 2015
It’s now official. Etihad Airways will begin flying the A380 between Abu Dhabi and New York as of December 1, 2015.
Etihad offers twice daily service to New York. The following frequency will be operated by the A380:
EY103 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 2:55AM arriving 8:40AM
EY102 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 3:00PM arriving 12:30PM (+1 day)
Meanwhile the other frequency will continue to be operated by a Jet Airways configured 777-300ER:
EY101 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 10:20AM arriving 4:05PM
EY100 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 9:55PM arriving 7:25PM (+1 day)
Is there First Class Apartment award availability?
When Etihad first announced the A380, they didn’t make any saver level First Class Apartment award space available.
However, back in December Etihad began releasing saver A380 First Class Apartment award space between Abu Dhabi and London, and then starting in January Etihad began releasing saver A380 First Class Apartment award space between Abu Dhabi and Sydney.
Regarding the New York route, as it stands it doesn’t look like there’s any first class award space on the A380 frequency, while the Jet Airways operated frequency consistently has two first class award seats:
This doesn’t surprise me, though over time as the novelty wears off a bit I’d expect for this to change, just as we’ve seen on the London and Sydney flights.
As a reminder, here’s a primer on searching Etihad award availability, should you want to stay on top of things.
If they do start opening up First Class Apartment award space, the best way to redeem for it will be using 90,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way for first class between the US and Middle East.
It’s really exciting that we’ll eventually be getting what I think is the world’s best first class hard product on flights to the US.
Who’s excited at the prospect of flying the Etihad A380 between New York and Abu Dhabi?
Etihad First Class Apartment turndown service