Etihad Airways is yet another airline rethinking the retirement of the Airbus A380. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier confirmed last week that it will reactivate four of the 10 double-decker jets currently parked in Europe.
At first, the A380s will be used on the Abu Dhabi-London route, which is in strong demand, but new destinations are not ruled out. The company changed its CEO recently. Former boss Tony Douglas gave way to Antonoaldo Alves, who had worked for Azul and TAP.
Douglas had said last year that the A380 was no longer commercially sustainable, but since then passenger air traffic on international flights has grown exponentially, making other customers of the Airbus plane decide to recover them. Lufthansa is one of them and has just received one of the aircraft back in Germany.
In addition to the A380s, Etihad has in its fleet the A350-1000, some Boeing 777s, but above all the Boeing 787, of which it operates 39 aircraft, between models 787-9 and 787-10.
But the A380 is unbeatable in capacity. There are 484 seats distributed in nine places in first class, 70 in executive and 405 in economy – in addition to the special “Residence” cabin.
The forecast is that the A380 will take over flights to London from June 2023. To this end, Etihad will return part of the fleet that is currently parked in Tarbes, France, and Teruel, Spain, to flying conditions.