Etihad launches debut A380 service to London

Monday, 29 December 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

UAE’s national airline Etihad Airways on Saturday (27 December) launched its debut A380 service to London Heathrow from the Abu Dhabi airport. The inaugural flight took off from the Abu Dhabi Airport at 2:35 a.m. on Saturday and arrived at the world’s busiest airport in London at 6:35 a.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the departure gate as part of the festivities in the presence of Etihad Airways chief operations officer Richard Hill, senior vice president (Network Operations) Chris Youlten, senior vice president (Technical) Jeff Wilkinson, vice president (Guest Experience) Calum Laming and vice president (Guest Services) Aubrey Tiedt. The event was also attended by Ahmad Al Haddabi, Abu Dhabi Airports chief operations officer. Special gift packs were handed over to guests on the inaugural flight, containing luggage tags, passport holders, commemorative A380 certificates and complimentary Wi-Fi vouchers. They were also given complimentary wi-fi access and the airline hosted social media activities during the flight, said the statement from Etihad. The double decker aircraft is operating on EY11, one of the three daily London Heathrow services, said a statement from Etihad Airways. By August 2015, every Etihad Airways flight between Abu Dhabi and London will be an A380 service, it stated. The Abu Dhabi carrier had recently unveiled the A380 at a high profile gala event after taking delivery of the aircraft from Airbus in Hamburg. On the launch, president and CEO James Hogan said: “The response from air travellers to our new A380, particularly The Residence by Etihad penthouse suite, has been incredible and we’re delighted to introduce the aircraft into commercial service.” The Residence by Etihad is a three room suite - with living room, bathroom and bedroom - that offers a level of luxury and privacy normally associated with private jet travel. Located in the forward upper section of the A380 The Residence by Etihad offers guests a personal Butler who, for the inaugural flight, was British national, Georgina Henderson. Georgina and other Etihad Airways Butlers have all received specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London. The A380 also features First Apartments, which are fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed, as well as a chilled mini-bar, personal vanity unit and wardrobe, said the statement from Etihad. A total of 70 Business Studios are located on the upper deck of the A380 all offering aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long. The upper deck of the A380 is allocated to the premium cabins. The Economy Smart Seat also debuts on the A380 and has enhanced comfort with the unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat, it added.