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Great News! The Etihad A380 is Coming Back – With the First Apartments (But, Not All)

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Written by Charlie

It’s coming back! The Etihad A380, complete with First Apartments, is making a return! But, it won’t be going everywhere and there may be a twist with The Residence.

Good news for fans of the Airbus double-decker – and particularly, those fans of the way Etihad outfitted it. Etihad is bringing back the A380, complete with the First Apartment and Residence cabin!

The Etihad A380 – and First Apartment – is Coming Back!

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about how Etihad said that they were not ready to be done yet with the A380 jets. But, he also said if they did return, it would not be a permanent fixture on their schedule.

Etihad's First Apartment

Well, it turns out that the Etihad A380 planes are coming back but they will not be returning worldwide. Instead, according to Business Travellerthey will only be returning on the Abu Dhabi to London route. Here is what Etihad executives had to say:

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The A380’s reintroduction provides a further boost to Etihad’s capacity into the key UK market, with a knock-on effect for the wider GCC and Indian subcontinent that will bring more visitors to the city of Abu Dhabi.”

The CEO of Etihad Airways, Antonoaldo Neves, said: “We have decided the time is right to return some of our A380s into the fleet to satisfy the demand which has made them financially viable once more.

They will be returning to London Heathrow in the summer of 2023. But, based on their comments, their original comment from last year about “not be a permanent fixture” still may come to pass. The usage of the 4 A380 jumbo jet on the Abu Dhabi – London Heathrow route is being done because of the increase in demand that has “made them financially viable once more.”

anniversary trip

Anniversary transport?

It may take a couple of years for the new shift in worldwide travel post-Covid to settle before we know how financially viable this route remains.

Also, in the Business Traveller article, they said that, for the first time, The Residence will eventually be offered as an optional extra for guests. I would imagine something like renting it for short usage during the flight? Honestly, I am not too sure about this strategy since we are talking about an 8 hour flight. How much are they going to charge to make this worth the hassle? Also, I would presume this is just if The Residence doesn’t sell on those flights.

At any rate, if you have ever wanted to experience the Etihad A380 First Apartment for yourself (and it is quite an experience!), you may want to check out the London – Abu Dhabi route after next summer! 

If they are flying these everyday, that means 36 seats available every day in the First Apartment section. Check out using American Airline miles or Air Canada Aeroplan miles for this redemption, especially with Air Canada since it is quite easy to get those (thanks to multiple transfer partners).

I know I will be up for another trip! And, my daughter has been talking about it ever since we went like 6 years ago so she probably would want an updated experience also!

favorite trips

One of my favorite trips was with my daughter and included flying in Etihad’s First Apartment back in 2016!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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