Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways will be deploying its A380 aircraft on all its services to and from New York, it announced on Thursday.
The airline currently flies twice daily to the US city and was already using the jumbo Airbus A380 jet for one of its flights.
The double-decker A380 will now replace a three-class Boeing 777-300ER operating the second daily service.
Flight EY103 departs Abu Dhabi at 3.35am and arrives in New York’s JFK airport at 9.40am. Return flight EY102 leaves the US city at 3.00pm and arrives in the UAE capital at 12.05pm the next day.
The second daily flight EY101 takes off from Abu Dhabi at 10.15am and lands in New York at 4.20pm, with EY100 departing from JFK at 10.45pm and arriving in the emirate at 7.50pm the next day.
The new deployment means New York will join London and Sydney as an all-A380 operation.
Etihad launched daily nonstop flights to New York JFK on October 26, 2006, and introduced a second daily service in March 2014. It upgraded one of the daily flights to an A380 aircraft in November 2015.
Passengers travelling on all Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to the airline’s six US cities – New York JFK Airport, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco – can get their US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance done at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, enabling them to arrive in the US as domestic travellers.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO, said: “The response we have received from our guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we first launched the A380 service two years ago has been phenomenal.”
Etihad’s additional capacity on the US route comes even as regional airlines continue to face a US ban on large electronic devices in airplane cabins.
The ban imposed on flights from 10 Middle East and North African airports including those in the UAE and Qatar has now been in place for two months.
Last month, Emirates confirmed that it will drop its third daily Dubai-New York JFK flight (EK207/208) between June 4-30 as part of a “routine operational review”.
The reduction follows cuts to five of its 12 destinations following weakening demand following the laptop ban.