Around the middle of last year Etihad announced the details of their new A380s, which they started flying in late 2014. While Etihad is far from the first carrier to fly the A380, they really innovated unlike any other carrier in terms of the onboard product.
I had the opportunity to fly the Etihad A380 inaugural flight in a First Class Apartment, which is simply an incredible product. I’d argue it’s by far the best first class “hard product” in the world.
I’d say that the First Class Apartment actually outshined The Residence, which is the part of the plane which got the most attention. The Residence is a private, three room suite (you have a living room, bedroom, and private bathroom with shower) with butler service. It’s unlike anything which has ever been offered in commercial aviation… and not surprisingly it came at a steep price tag.
As of now Etihad flies their A380s to London and Sydney, and starting on December 1, 2015, Etihad will begin flying their A380s to New York as well.
How much does Etihad’s A380 The Residence retail for between Abu Dhabi and New York? ~$32,000 one-way:
There was an interesting BloombergBusiness article yesterday about demand for Etihad’s The Residence between Abu Dhabi and New York. Apparently demand has been overwhelming:
Even at $32,000, people are lining up to book Etihad Airways PJSC’s three-room suite between Abu Dhabi and New York.
“We have experienced an overwhelmingly positive response to the Residence within the U.S. — beyond our expectations, in fact,” Etihad Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said Monday in Orlando. “We are seeing healthy forward bookings.”
Hear that, folks? People are “lining up” to book Etihad’s The Residence between Abu Dhabi and New York. Etihad has experienced an “overwhelmingly positive response beyond [their] expectations.” And they’re seeing “healthy forward bookings.”
How many seats has Etihad sold so far?
An Etihad spokeswoman, Katie Connell, declined to give specifics about how many Residence fares had been sold on New York flights.
While Etihad might not be willing to reveal forward bookings, the good news is that we can. Etihad only has one of The Residence on each A380, so you can always see whether it’s booked or not.
So between December 1, 2015 and the end of the schedule, there are 410 flights between Abu Dhabi and New York operated by the A380 (205 in each direction). That means there are potentially 410 flights on which The Residence could be booked.
On how many flights between Abu Dhabi and New York is Etihad still selling The Residence? You ready for this? You sure?
That’s right, Etihad has sold The Residence on exactly one flight between Abu Dhabi and New York between December 1 and the end of the schedule. And that’s the inaugural flight between New York and Abu Dhabi.
But hey, you heard it straight from Etihad — apparently having sold The Residence on a single flight is “beyond their expectations.”