On Tuesday, UAE’s national airline, Etihad Airways, operated the first commercial flight from Abu Dhabi International’s brand-new Terminal A.

EY224, an Airbus A350-1000, departed Terminal A with 359 guests onboard at 2.35pm bound for New Delhi.

All guests on that flight, including those in economy, were invited to be the inaugural guests at the new flagship Etihad Lounges which span three floors at Terminal A. Etihad’s new airport lounges feature a rooftop cocktail bar, a number of relaxation spaces, a games room and a family room. The Lounge also offers direct boarding access for three aircraft.

Etihad will transition flights to Terminal A in a phased approach from 9 November. Between 9 and 14 November, it will operate from both Terminal A and Terminal 3, and from 11am on 14 November Etihad is set to operate all flights from Terminal A.

Terminal A will be able to handle up to 45 million passengers annually and connect Abu Dhabi to 117 global destinations.

As Etihad’s new home terminal, it has dedicated check-in desks for Etihad’s economy guests, as well as exclusive areas to fast-track passengers travelling in business and first.

Etihad added that additional biometric self-bag drop facilities are available for all guests too. Those flying in Etihad’s premium cabins can avail of the kerbside drop off facility outside of the first and business class exclusive check-in area, where porters are on hand to assist with luggage.

In a significant development, also on Tuesday, UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued directives to rename Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new official name, Zayed International Airport, will take effect from 9 February 2024.

Antonoaldo Neves, chief executive officer of Etihad, said, “The terminal is a stunning piece of architecture that echoes the local landscape and warmly welcomes our guests and elevates their travel experience. As we begin our transition to our new home, we look forward to welcoming even more passengers as we continue to grow and expand our fleet and network.”

Elena Sorlini, managing director and interim CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports, added, “This is a historic moment for Abu Dhabi International Airport, our partners at Etihad Airways, and the emirate as whole. The first flight from Terminal A marks a major milestone in the journey of Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector. Terminal A brings a significant increase to capacity, and delivers state-of-the-art facilities to both airlines and passengers. We look forward to welcoming more passengers throughout November as we continue to increase the number of flights departing and arriving at Terminal A.”

From 14 November, a total of 28 airlines will operate from Terminal A including the likes of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, among others.


(Image: Supplied by Etihad)