Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways has taken delivery of its second Airbus A380 and will introduce the aircraft on its London Heathrow route from Friday, May 1, it announced on Thursday.
Etihad’s newest aircraft, registered A6-APB, was delivered in Abu Dhabi on April 25 and will operate the EY19 / EY20 rotation, the airline said in a statement.
The airline received delivery of its first A380 from Airbus late last year, and introduced the jet to London Heathrow from December 2014.
Two of the airline’s three daily flights to London will now be operated by the A380.
In 2014, Etihad Airways carried 533,615 guests to and from London Heathrow and the introduction of the second A380 between Abu Dhabi and London will allow the airline to further boost its passenger numbers on the route, it said.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief commercial officer, said: “By August of 2015, all three daily flights on this flagship route will be operated by the A380. In June, the third A380 will be introduced on one of our two daily services from Abu Dhabi to Sydney.”
In March, the airline also announced that it will deploy the wide-body jet on daily services to New York from December 1, 2015.
Etihad’s A380 features The Residence by Etihad, an ultra-luxurious three-room suite measuring 125 sq ft, that includes a living room, separate bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
Guests using the service will also be offered a VIP travel concierge service including a luxury chauffeur, private check-in and lounge, an Etihad Butler on board and an inflight chef.
Located on the forward upper deck of the A380, The Residence by Etihad is available for single or double occupancy.
The A380 also features nine ‘First Apartments’, which offer a private living space with a large Poltrona Frau leather lounge chair and an ottoman. The ottoman opens out into an 81-inch long bed. A fully equipped shower room is also available for first class guests.
A serviced lounge and bar area featuring leather sofas, refreshments and a TV is available to guests in first and business class.
The aircraft includes 70 business studios and 415 economy seats and is equipped with full mobile and wi-fi service, and USB and power points at every seat in every cabin.
Etihad has a further eight A380s on order.