Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has announced that it will deploy its wide-body A380 on daily services to New York from December 1, 2015.
The airline currently offers two daily flights to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport from its Abu Dhabi hub, operated on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Etihad received delivery of its first A380 from Airbus late last year, and introduced the jet to London Heathrow from December 2014. It will commence an additional A380 service to Sydney from June 1, 2015, it said in a statement.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, said: “The United States is a strategically important part of Etihad Airways’ growing global network and as a result of increased demand from our guests traveling between New York and Abu Dhabi — and onto the world, we are pleased to upgrade one of our two daily flights to an A380.”
The two daily flights offer guests travelling from New York access to 709 weekly connections to 34 markets across the Gulf, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Africa and South East Asia.
In 2014, Etihad Airways’ business and economy class load factors exceeded 80 per cent on the route.
“New York marks the first US destination where we will introduce our industry-leading A380 aircraft products and experience,” Hogan said.
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 currently has 10 of the double-decker airliners on firm order, and will take delivery of four of them in 2015.