Etihad Adding Second Daily A380 Flight To New York JFK

Etihad has just announced that they’ll be launching a second daily A380 flight between New York JFK and Abu Dhabi as of June 1, 2017.

Etihad-Arrivals-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi - 1

While Emirates ordered a total of 142 A380s, Etihad has only ordered 10, meaning the number of A380 destinations will be much more limited. So far Etihad is operating A380s to London Heathrow, New York JFK, Sydney, Melbourne, and Mumbai.

EY-A380-Routes

With two more A380s on order and scheduled to be delivered over the next year, I’ve been wondering where they’d send the plane next, and it seems we now have an answer.

Both of Etihad’s daily flights to New York JFK will be operated by A380s as of June 1, 2017.

The flight presently operated by an A380 has the following schedule:

EY103 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 3:35AM arriving 9:35AM
EY102 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 3:00PM arriving 12:05PM (+1 day)

Meanwhile the additional frequency (presently operated by a 777-300ER) that will be operated by the A380 as of June 1, 2017, operates with the following schedule:

EY101 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 10:10AM arriving 4:30PM
EY100 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 10:45PM arriving 7:30PM (+1 day)

Nowadays award availability in Etihad’s First Class Apartment is quite good, given American’s recent devaluation.

Etihad-A380-Apartment - 2

The best ways to book Etihad first class are through:

  • American AAdvantage for 115,000 miles one-way in first class
  • Etihad Guest for 117,700 miles one-way in first class

I’ve reviewed Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment several times, including between:

Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment is one of my favorite first class products in the world. While I’ve long been a fan of Etihad, they’ve truly revolutionized first class with the introduction of their A380 First Class Apartment. They’re the first airline to have a single aisle configuration on an A380, meaning there’s just one seat on each side of the aisle in first class.

Etihad-A380-First-Class-01

The Apartments are massive — you can actually close your door and walk around in each Apartment. Heck, I’m pretty sure you could host the whole first class cabin in your Apartment if you wanted to.

Etihad-A380-First-Class-04

Etihad also has fantastic catering, and even have an onboard chef. The onboard chef has a “pantry” of sorts, so if you get a great chef they’ll prepare you just about anything you could want. It doesn’t get much better than that in the air!

Etihad-First-Class-777-45

Etihad is also one of only two airlines to have an onboard shower in first class. While I prefer the Emirates shower suite, Etihad’s isn’t half bad either. 😉

Etihad-A380-First-Class - 44

Lastly, Etihad has a lounge area between first & business class, which is a nice place to go and stretch your legs.

Etihad-A380-First-Class-57

For me, Etihad’s A380 has the single best first class hard product of any airline out there, so it’s great to see the plane offered on more US frequencies.

Bottom line

I’m not surprised to see Etihad add another daily A380 frequency to New York. They recently opened a gorgeous new lounge there, which should have plenty of capacity to handle both A380 frequencies.

Etihad-Lounge-New-York - 10
Etihad Airways Lounge JFK

But the real reason they probably picked JFK for the second daily A380 frequency is because it probably has the most paid first & business class demand, along with London. While I was wondering if they’d eventually operate an A380 to LAX (especially given that they just opened a lounge there), it’s my understanding that with Etihad’s A380 configuration they couldn’t fly it to LAX without some major payload restrictions.

Etihad-Airways-Lounge-LAX - 10
Etihad Airways Lounge LAX

What do you make of Etihad sending a second daily A380 to New York?

Comments

  1. Ok, but the A380 I flew from Abu Dhabi to New York was mostly empty — probably only a 1/3 full. How do they make money doing this?

  2. I’m currently booked on a 3am AUH-JFK flight but I need to reschedule it to after the new A380 add anyway. Any thoughts on whether i should switch to the 10am one (given that I’m not in a particular rush)?

  3. This is so awesome. I always look out for the best business class seats to India. As of now Qatar A350 and Etihad A380 were topping it, but both were morning flights. This change will be better with the evening option as well. Besides on return, you get to complete the immigration clearance in Abu Dhabi itself when flying EY101 and then fly in A380 business which makes it more enjoyable than a 777.

    70K AA on partner airline Business between India/USA is not too bad.

  4. @lucky – I did a few searches using KVS (both ways) and couldn’t find much availability……even 330 days out there are 0 F seats.

  5. I thought CDG or FRA might be their next A380 destination? That said, I was very surprised MEL was chosen as an A380 destination.

  6. Etihad guest requires only 117,700 miles one-way in first class??? I could never see such a low redemption and off lately the guest seats on the A380 on JFK-AUH route seems to have dried up. Any experience with that?
    I flew the first class last year for 90k AA miles and its the best luxury product I have seen in the sky along with Singapore First.

  7. @Lucky: is it generally feasible to fly LAX-JFK-AUH-zzz assuming zzz falls within AA’s routing rules? I’ve been wanting to try the A380 but am coming from LAX.

    Also, just out of curiosity, where did you hear about the payload restrictions for the A380 on the LAX-AUH route?

  8. @angel
    They LITERALLY just loaded/ announced this flight. Sometimes it takes awhile for inventory to be updated and for availability to open. relax.

  9. @Ben
    Frankfurt? Really? They don’t even consistently offer an F product there. Many times it’s the 330-200 which is two cabin. That’s not indicative of a route that’s going to get a massive upgrade to a 380. CDG on the other hand would have been interesting… but alas, this JFK #2 appears to be the decision….

  10. @Ben
    also, you shouldn’t be surprised that MEL was chosen as a destination. The CEO is from there and will do anything to promote MEL. Plus, MEL receives a lot of flow traffic from LHR. There’s a lot of paid J and F traffic from LHR to MEL, so it makes sense to deliver a consistent experience all the way through.
    Who doesn’t like flying inexpensive J and F on a 380?

  11. This is fantastic!! I have a goal of trying out the First Class Apartments once (did the Etihad dreamliner business class already) and this will make it MUCH easier!

  12. @James
    I also flew the A380 from Abu Dhabi to New York and it was full in F (except for the Residence) – mostly Indian passengers going to the U.S., of which 2 couples were going on their summer holiday. Depends when you fly I guess, but there’s a lot of folks that pay for F.

  13. I’ve flown EY on their 380 in F twice now AUD-JFK and have a third booked for early next year (all paid F) and I for one am glad they are making the earlier flight a 380 – the late flight time wasn’t very convenient but it would be silly to pay the same price for their 777 product when its nowhere near the apartment.

  14. @Kirby

    i think Ben might have been told that during the LAX lounge opening ceremony, a few days ago or yesterday.

    Have a look on its review maybe.

  15. Why would Etihad have payload restrictions to LAX when Emirates doesn’t? Is it because their A380s are not the ULR version? How unreasonable would it be for them to get that version instead?

  16. @Mark
    Etihad has the restrictions because their planes are too heavy with the way they outfitted them. Significantly heavier than even EK, so they would have to take huge penalties on a trip such as LAX. This comes from sources within EY. So essentially they screwed the pooch.

  17. @Jason – I’m perfectly fine and relaxed. I’m pointing out that there is almost NO AVAILABILITY on EY F from JKF-AUH or AUH-JFK including the current flight (I know how loading inventory works for new flights). I was pointing out what Lukcy stated in the article: “Nowadays award availability in Etihad’s First Class Apartment is quite good…..” which is not the case for this particular route.

  18. @angel Maybe the flights are full or you’re trying to go during a time of year when Etihad knows they can sell the seats for cash rather than miles. that does happen, and I’m sure it’s something EY prefers

  19. @C but what is making them heavier? With their seat configurations, they have almost the same number of seats. When EK says ULR, is that not based on A380 specifications, but just the way they configured the aircraft with slightly fewer seats, making it possible to reach destinations like LAX?

  20. One thing for sure, the overall Etihad experience is simply over the top. The food is radically better than the competition, so is the service, and the A380 Apartment suites are beyond belief. They’ve really staked out their position as the most luxurious and refined carrier, IMO. It really makes one smile just to contemplate the next ultra-long-haul…

  21. @Nicholas Bedworth – we will have to agree to disagree there. I just flew AUH-IAD in F last week. Service was beyond bad/ forgetful and the food quality and quantity has gone down drastically in the past two years. I did fly on the A380 F JFK-AUH in January and 777 F AUH-LAX in January as well. Those flights were excellent. But since then they’ve reduced the quantity and quality on the F menus and the service has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in F. I flew DUS-AUH in J last week on my way to AUH. 787-9. The experience in J on the 787 far exceeded the F experience on my subsequent AUH-IAD F sadly. Ah, this is what happens when energy prices are low. Seats are still comfortable, but the service element is slipping. and Fast. It’s sad.

  22. We spent a huge amount of AA Miles (435K pre devaluation) to fly Etihad in F and to say we were disappointed is an understatement. Many Asian and European carriers are much better in business than Etihad F in our experience.

    Etihad can double number of F Apartment seats to the US all they want, but until they address their dismal service this is of no consequence to people looking for the F quality & experience.

    See my FT review by clicking my name above!

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