Etihad’s current twice-daily service between Abu Dhabi and Sydney is set to become an all-A380 double-daily service starting October.
According to the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s schedule, it will be replacing the 328-seat Boeing 777-300ER that currently operates flight EY450/EY451 with the higher-capacity Airbus from October 29. Etihad’s other daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Sydney (EY454/EY455) is already served by an A380.
The shift to an all-A380 service follows the planned removal of the aircraft from the airline’s Abu Dhabi-Melbourne route, effective the same day, with Etihad set to downgrade both of its Melbourne flights to smaller aircraft.
Etihad’s redeployment of its A380 in Australia will come during the peak season for travel between Europe and Australia.
According to routesonline.com, Etihad’s overall winter schedules from October 29 show a capacity drop of almost 200 seats daily on its Abu Dhabi-Melbourne route.
Meanwhile, the equipment change will bring an additional 168 seats daily to its Sydney service, and will also mean Etihad’s three-room suite, The Residence, will be available on all flights on the route. The A380 is the only aircraft in Etihad’s fleet equipped with the space.
The increase in flight frequency on its Sydney route to a double-daily service came into effect in February, when the airline added three weekly flights to the route.