Etihad Is Introducing Double Daily A380 Flights To Sydney

A couple of days ago Etihad announced some A380 service changes, as they’ll be discontinuing A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne as of October 29, 2017. The plane didn’t fly the route for very long, as Etihad only inaugurated A380 service in the market as of June 2016.

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Etihad has a fleet of under a dozen A380s, so they’re quite selective with where they fly the planes (unlike their rival Emirates, which has about 10x as many A380s).

At the time, Etihad hadn’t yet announced which route would be getting the A380 in place of Melbourne, though we now know. Etihad will be introducing a second daily A380 flight between Abu Dhabi and Sydney as of October 29, 2017. I think that’s pretty telling as to whether Etihad has better yields on their Melbourne or Sydney flights.

This means that Etihad will soon offer A380 service with the following schedule between the two airports:

EY450 Abu Dhabi to Sydney departing 9:25AM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day)
EY454 Abu Dhabi to Sydney departing 10:15PM arriving 7:15PM (+1 day)

EY451 Sydney to Abu Dhabi departing 4:20PM arriving 11:55PM
EY455 Sydney to Abu Dhabi departing 9:50PM arriving 5:40AM (+1 day)

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One of the daily frequencies (EY450/451) is presently operated by a 777-300ER, meaning that Sydney is getting a net increase in capacity of 165 seats per direction per day.

More importantly, this represents a big upgrade in terms of the product quality for passengers across the board. The A380 has a significantly better first class, business class, and economy class product, and of course also has The Residence. So this is great news across the board for passengers traveling to and from Sydney, in my opinion.

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This means that by later this year, Etihad will offer multiple daily A380 frequencies to London, New York, and Sydney, which seems logical enough.

Are you surprised to see Etihad pull the A380 from Melbourne and double down on Sydney?

Comments

  1. ben
    dont you think that Etihad First on 777-300 inst better than the apartment on the A380?

    The seat does not recline at all and the bed is hard (as per your comment a few days ago)

    wouldn’t you refer a seat / bed combo like all airlines do?

  2. Not suprised, have never seen Sydney flight empty, Melbourne seems to be getting pretty average load factors (60%) even in more peak times.

  3. To take advantage of this, if I have mostly Chase UR points, and want to travel from SFO to SYD via Abu Dhabi in business or first class, to which airline’s mileage program can/should I transfer the Chase UR points?

  4. @David O depending on how many points you have use KE. I think they require r/t but it’s only 210k which is on the cheaper side for F r/t.

  5. Thanks Derek, very much.
    I’ll probably do that.
    But, are there any options that would be nonstop from SFO or LAX?

  6. Not on Etihad. You’d have to route through AUH. I’m not really aware of any Etihad fifth freedom routes, but take a look at https://www.awardhacker.com. Should help you price routes with programs. The only feasible non-stop I see with your miles is on UA metal with UA miles.

  7. Ah…thats a shame, just booked a first class flight melbourne – new york for November, it is a 787 out of melbourne…then to the apartments, meh…I will try it, flown this route 5 times now and first was never once out of melbourne has first been full..the forward facing seats yes.but the most I have ever seen including myself is 6/9 been full the ABU – JFK though, .also the residence 1/5 has been used…not that they let you upgrade…though I did get some caviar has I had a drink in it with the person that was using it,

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