Etihad Launching A380 Flights To Mumbai In 2016

Wow! Despite Etihad having a fairly small fleet of A380s (only a total of 10 on order), the number of destinations to which they’re flying the whale-jet continues to grow.

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Etihad has just announced that they will operate daily A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai as of May 1, 2016. Via airlineroute.net, the A380 frequency will operate with the following schedule:

EY204 Abu Dhabi to Mumbai departing 2:10PM arriving 7:20PM
EY203 Mumbai to Abu Dhabi departing 9:35PM arriving 11:35PM

This complements Etihad’s two existing daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.

Mumbai marks Etihad’s fifth A380 destination from Abu Dhabi, after London, SydneyNew York, and Melbourne.

Etihad-A380-Destinations

Etihad’s A380 expansion plan continues to be interesting, since my understanding was that initially they were going to fly it exclusively to London, New York, and Sydney, so that they could offer the planes consistently in those markets. However, it seems like they’ve changed their mind on that, given the expansion to Melbourne and Mumbai.

The Mumbai frequency makes sense, given what a short flight it is. It can basically be operated when the plane would otherwise have downtime. The roundtrip “turn” takes only about 10 hours.

For what it’s worth, Etihad A380 First Class Apartment award availability is wide open between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai, with as many as a handful of award seats per flight in both directions.

Etihad-A380-Mumbai-1 Etihad-A380-Mumbai-2

Here’s a primer on how to search Etihad award space.

The best way to redeem miles for Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment is through American AAdvantage. They charge the following number of miles for one-way first class:

  • Middle East/India to Europe: 40,000 miles
  • Middle East/India to Australia: 60,000 miles
  • Middle East/India to North America: 90,000 miles

Etihad-A380-First-Class-21

What makes this A380 route exciting is that it means you can realistically get two Etihad A380 segments on a single one-way AAdvantage award, as it’s “legal” to fly from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to Australia, Europe, or North America, on a single award.

The Etihad A380 is spectacular and even has an onboard shower, though I wouldn’t count on getting one on the flight between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai. There are a total of nine First Class Apartments on the A380, which share a single shower. There’s certainly not time for everyone to shower on a ~1,200 mile flight, so I would assume it will depend on loads and the demand for the shower.

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Keep in mind Etihad’s A380s also feature “The Residence,” which is the private three room suite with butler service.

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Etihad-A380-First-Class-25

Etihad charges ~$32,000 for a one-way ticket in The Residence between Abu Dhabi and New York. So how much will The Residence cost you between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai? A mere ~$5,000 one-way. And keep in mind The Residence can actually seat two people. A bargain, practically! 😉

Residence-Etihad-Fare

Bottom line

It’s exciting to see Etihad add a shorter flight on the A380, for those who just want to sample the product regionally. And for those of us looking to “maximize,” it’s nice to be able to get two A380 segments on a single award. Keep in mind that it wasn’t even until 2014 that India lifted the ban on A380s, at which point Singapore and Emirates announced A380 service to India.

Are you excited about Etihad launching A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai?

Comments

  1. 5000$ for joining the miles high mile club in style? With a private shower to clean up before and after?

    I think EY has finally found a route where The Residence will sell well.

  2. Ben,

    Is the cost for The Residence literally $2,500 pp when flying two or are there additional costs to be considered? Or does the second person have to buy an actual seat (in Y. perhaps) and can join the Res F pax in the front when boarding?

  3. Just a little too late for our BOM-AUH flight!

    On the other hand, Etihad did recently upgrade our flight on that route by switching from what would have been a A320 with recliner seats to a 777-300ER with lie-flat seats.

  4. I’m looking at London, and the outbound stopover is either 12h50m or 17h40m (0915-2030 or 1405-0120, connecting to 1410-1920). That’s great for me as I enjoy spending an evening in Abu Dhabi and sightseeing there the following day, but it’s terrible for A380 fans wanting to travel conveniently between the UK and India. The return trip has either a 2h55m or an 8h25m overnight layover, which is just plain annoying either way (2135-2335 / 0230-0640 or 0800-1205).

    Does this schedule connect to any A380 service to anywhere?

  5. The idea behind the A380 was to serve high volume and congested routes like India. However, the Indian govt. decided to ban the aircraft to protect the domestic aviation market. Think about an all coach A380 shuttle between Delhi and Mumbai (at least that’s how Airbus envisioned it). It’s not surprising to see this addition. Also, Lufthansa flies it from Frankfurt.

  6. Hrmmm, maybe we should fly LHR-BOM, instead of LHR-MLE . . . ? 4 x A380 instead of 2 x . . . It’s all about the flights, not the destination!

  7. At $5k I see a perfect opportunity for you to be the first blogger to review The Residence. You can even bring a friend. We’ll be waiting…

  8. I just tried to switch from CDG-DOH-BOM to CDG-DOH-AUH-BOM in F and was quoted an additional 20k miles for the change.. was told it is because of the routing.
    HUCA?

  9. This is fantastic news! I’ll miss its inaugural flight by a month!

    Lucky, did you know World Travel Awards awarded Mumbai’s GVK Lounge, Best Lounge in Asia 2015. It beat the likes of Singapore’s SilverKris Lounge and Cathay’s The Wing Lounge!
    Would love to see a piece on it by your team 🙂

  10. I am very sceptical about this. I redeemed AA miles to go F class LHR-AUH-BOM I went for that route so I could fly on the A380 and 787. They have since scrapped the 787 (I’m flying in Feb) with a Jet Airways configured 777 – yuck! So I’m doubtful they will go ahead with this

  11. You definitely need to review the Residence now. Your Kickstarter would have been easily funded at $5k or you could probably just pay at that price. Blog contest to join you if the Kickstarter route…otherwise take Ford. 😉

  12. This route makes perfect sense and I’m not least bit surprised. Think about it why keep the A380 grounded when you can keep it busy. I bet this will be the same aircraft that is currently scheduled for the JFK-Abu Dabhi flight. Gives the 3 hr layover then proceeds to Mumbai and back.

  13. Surprised Etihad is not replacing their JFK route with Jet Airways aircraft instead of Mumbai which is such a short distance.

  14. I’ve been living in Mumbai as an expat for 2.5 years. It’s nice to see you write about Mumbai Lucky!!! Hope to catch you over here at some point.

    I echo John’s point about the GVK lounge in Mumbai in terminal 2. I was able to get in earlier with my Aegean gold status but as of this year I’ve been downgraded to some crap lounge, probably because I fly economy. You should definitely review it its something else!!

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