Last December, Etihad announced plans to re-introduce four Airbus A380s starting in the summer of 2023. Well, on March 9, 2023, the first of the four A380s has been reactivated from the long-term storage in Tarbes, France(LDE) and flew to Abu Dhabi(AUH).
First Of Four Etihad A380s Returned to Abu Dhabi
With the travel demand explosively increasing than many expected, Etihad has decided to reactivate four out of ten Airbus A380s starting this summer. While we were not sure about the exact dates when those superjumbos will be reactivated, there is positive news surfacing as the first A380 has been reactivated and returned to the capital of Emirates.
Based on the flight tracked on flightradar24, Etihad’s Airbus A380 registered as A6-APG departed Tarbes, where it was stored since June of 2020, to Abu Dhabi.
The flight was assigned as EY9752, and left the French city around 5 PM on Thursday, March 9, and arrived around 3 AM in the morning. From then, the aircraft will be undergoing checks and tests before serving passengers this summer.
Etihad’s Airbus A380 is one of the most luxurious aircraft offering a remarkable passenger experience. The aircraft also features a Residence, which has a separate living room, bedroom and shower room.
The airline has ten A380s in its fleet, however, the current plan is to bring back only four of them.
Which Routes Will Etihad A380s Fly To
Before the pandemic, Etihad flew its A380 to a couple of cities such as London, New York, and Sydney. For a short period of time, it has flown to Mumbai as well. So with the return of the largest passenger plane to its fleet, where will Etihad fly these aircraft to?
As of now, Etihad is planning to fly between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow exclusively starting this summer. The exact schedule for the London relaunch will be on July 15, 2023, and I believe this will free up some aircraft to London and operate them to other destinations with higher demand as well. For context, Etihad currently operates four daily flights To London with a fleet of Boeing B787-9, B787-10 and Airbus A350-1000.
Etihad’s A380 feature 496 seats including:
- 1 The Residence
- 9 First Class Apartments
- 70 Business Studio seats
- 405 Economy Class seats
I’ve flown Etihad’s A380s a couple of times in the past to London and Sydney and I am once again so excited that the airline has finally brought back the superjumbos to serve passengers. Hopefully, it will expand the routes to longer destinations in the future.
Etihad will be reactivating four Airbus A380s this summer and the first of the four A380s has now left long-term storage in Tarbes on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
The remaining three A380s will be reactivated simultaneously in the coming week and will get ready for passenger service from July 15, 2023, onwards.