• Saturday, July 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Etihad Airways marks first A380 flight with fan-fare at Abu Dhabi airport

businessday-icon

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, celebrated the departure of its inaugural Airbus A380 flight at Abu Dhabi International Airport last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In addition to being Etihad Airways’ first A380 service, the flight marked the debut of the airline’s new First Apartments, Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats, together with The Residence by Etihad – a three-room suite with living room, bathroom and bedroom.

It was also the first flight to operate with Etihad Airways’ ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery.

It was graced on behalf of Etihad Airways by Richard Hill, chief operations officer; Chris Youlten, senior vice president network operations; Jeff Wilkinson, senior vice president technical; Calum Laming, vice president guest experience; and Aubrey Tiedt, vice president guest services.

The event, which took place before Flight EY11 took-off to London Heathrow at 02.35am, was also attended by Ahmad Al Haddabi, Abu Dhabi Airport’s chief operations officer.

Special gift packs were handed out to guests on the inaugural flight, containing luggage tags, passport holders, commemorative A380 certificates and complimentary Wi-Fi vouchers.

Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers.

From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 109 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and nine Airbus A380s.

Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline.

Etihad Airways, airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways and Etihad Regional also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.