Etihad Airbus A380 Returns To New York (JFK)!

Etihad Airbus A380 Returns To New York (JFK)!

20

In November 2023, Etihad Airways announced that the Airbus A380 would return to the United States. I wanted to post a reminder of this, as we’re hours from this service resuming.

Etihad A380 flying from Abu Dhabi to New York

At the start of the pandemic, Etihad Airways grounded its Airbus A380 fleet, with plans to likely retire the aircraft permanently. Fortunately the airline had a change of heart, and as of the summer of 2023, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier brought back the super jumbo.

Etihad had announced that its plan was to fly the A380 exclusively between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and London (LHR), with no firm plans to fly the jet to any other destination, as the airline intended to bring back just four A380s. That plan has evolved, and as of Monday, April 22, 2024, the A380 is also serving the New York (JFK) route.

Specifically, the A380 is operating the following frequency between Abu Dhabi and New York daily:

EY103 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 3:10AM arriving 9:30AM
EY102 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 3:30PM arriving 12:30PM (+1 day)

Etihad is maintaining a second daily flight in the market, which is operated by a Boeing 787-9, with the following schedule (this is even being upgraded to a 787 with first class):

EY101 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 10:50AM arriving 4:55PM
EY100 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 10:35PM arriving 7:30PM (+1 day)

Etihad took delivery of its first A380 in 2014, and started flying the A380 to New York as of 2015. The plane stayed on that route until shortly before the pandemic, so it’s nice to see this return. Etihad is working on growing sustainably, so presumably this is a part of those growth plans.

This New York service is coming at the expense of a once daily Abu Dhabi to London A380 flight, as one of the frequencies has been downgraded. I suspect Etihad is for now maintaining its fleet of four A380s, and is just utilizing them more efficiently.

If you want to experience Etihad’s A380 first class, the good news is that award availability is readily available. The catch is that Etihad only makes premium cabin award space available to partner programs within 30 days of departure. So if you can plan fairly close to departure, this is a great use of American AAdvantage miles.

Etihad is flying the Airbus A380 to New York

What the Etihad A380 means for passengers

Etihad’s Airbus A380s are some pretty special jets, and they’ve offered quite a halo effect for the airline. Etihad’s A380s are configured with a total of 485 seats.

With the A380 returning to New York, you can expect that Etihad is also reintroducing The Residence on this route, which is a private three room suite located at the front of the first class cabin. This is the most exclusive product available in commercial aviation.

Etihad A380 The Residence bedroom
Etihad A380 The Residence living room

Pre-pandemic, this experience cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, Etihad is now handling this differently than pre-pandemic. The airline is now selling upgrades to this for first class passengers who are on revenue fares ticketed through Etihad. While the upgrade cost for this is ~$2,500 one-way between Abu Dhabi and London, it’s $4,500 one-way between Abu Dhabi and New York, which I guess makes sense, proportionally.

Etihad A380 The Residence upgrade offer

We’re also seeing the reintroduction of the Etihad First Class Apartments on the New York route, as there are nine of those on the plane. This is one of the most impressive first class hard products out there, as there’s just a single aisle in the center of the cabin, and one suite on each side. This is a much better first class product than you’ll find on Etihad’s 787s. Etihad also has a stellar soft product nowadays, making for a great experience.

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment cabin
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

There are then 70 business class seats, which are the Etihad Business Studios, the same product you’ll find on the 787. This is a solid business class product, but not as good as Etihad’s new A350 business class, or the carrier’s new 787-9 business class (which is available from Abu Dhabi to Washington).

Etihad Business Studio

Lastly, there are 405 economy class seats, including 80 with extra legroom. This takes up the entire lower deck, as seats are in a 3-4-3 configuration.

Bottom line

Etihad is resuming Airbus A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and New York. As of April 22, the plane is operating one of the two daily frequencies, representing a significant capacity increase in the market. On top of that, New York is seeing both daily flights offer first class, compared to no first class previously, so that’s exciting.

In early 2023, we thought the A380 would never fly again for Etihad. Then when it finally did return, we were told it would just fly to London. It’s nice to see this beautiful jet now returning to a longer route.

What do you make of Etihad resuming A380 flights to New York?

Conversations (20)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Brianair Guest

    I imagine Residence flights from Abu Dhabi to New York are through the roof expensive.

  2. Weymar Osborne Diamond

    Any reason why Etihad is choosing to leave its other A380's in storage? Leases expired, aircraft were sold, or too long without maintenance maybe? Seems like they should at least be able to make SYD work if they brought back more planes

  3. jacobin777 Member

    "This New York service is coming at the expense of a once daily Abu Dhabi to London A380 flight, as one of the frequencies has been downgraded."

    -That's interesting, my sis-in-law/husband literally just flew today on AUH-LHR on the Big A380's J Class. She very much enjoyed it.

    I'm surprised they are ending the Big Bird on this route.

    Are there multiple daily A380's from AUH-LHR or just one daily A380 flight?

    1. JN Guest

      There are still double daily Etihad A380 AUH-LHR flights.

  4. Peter Guest

    Greetings from JFK, just deboarded EY1 after a once again great experience in First Class, not to the least due to the perfect crew and the great atmosphere with fellow travellers, including Gino in the Residence and parts of the EY leadership team. Great comeback!

  5. PCT Member

    We have 2 seats booked on the 380 JFK AUH mid May but our plans have changed so we will have to cancel them. Glad we do not need to book another date because as others have posted, Etihad seems to be blocking the 380 inventory on all days now! A simple search of seat maps on EF shows plenty of empty cabins on multiple days!

  6. Joey Diamond

    I'm a fan of Etihad A380 but I hope JFK terminal 4 hired more TSA folks as security lines may become longer especially on days when all these flights sell out.

  7. mofly Guest

    Is just me or over the last few days Etihad is blocking A380 availability for American on the NYC route even within 30 days?

    1. Scott Guest

      I agree. It could all be booked up, however there's nothing especially compared to 7-10 days ago. Plenty of 787-9 first availability T-30. Definitely suspect.

  8. Bill n DC Diamond

    There still should be US preclearance at AUH I have not heard it has been closed Last month I flew to IAD from Gate F60 F is a Bus gate at the new airport Enjoy! Safe Travels!

    1. Bill n DC Diamond

      And it takes you to the old terminal on the scenic route After clearance lounge still open

    2. Gounadave Guest

      I was just referring to my flight EY1 on Friday . My booking informs me clearance will be in the US . Flight is leaving from Gate B11 tonight so not a lounge gate though

    3. Bill n DC Diamond

      Bummer, I like just walking off the plane with AUH Pre-Clearance but enjoy the flight!!

  9. Mak Guest

    Have not been blown away by Etihad. Find it better than Emirates, but not as good as Qatar, and the airport experience is far inferior to both.

  10. Dn10 Guest

    How does the A380 experience compare to 787 or A350 if you aren’t in the residence but are still in a premium cabin?

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      Afaik A380 F is better than the other F products, but A380 J is worse then them.

  11. Gounadave Guest

    Im Flying this route on Friday . Just to let you know the flight number has been changed to EY1 . Timing is the same . I'm not sure of the return flight number . There is no pre flight clearance at Abu Dhabi so I'm guessing it will depart from the lounge accessible gates .

    1. Bill n DC Diamond

      Did Lounge access to gate in january to LHR very nice!

    2. Gounadave Guest

      Just checked tonights flight is from Gate B11 so not a Lounge gate :(

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Gounadave Guest

I was just referring to my flight EY1 on Friday . My booking informs me clearance will be in the US . Flight is leaving from Gate B11 tonight so not a lounge gate though

1
Brianair Guest

I imagine Residence flights from Abu Dhabi to New York are through the roof expensive.

0
Weymar Osborne Diamond

Any reason why Etihad is choosing to leave its other A380's in storage? Leases expired, aircraft were sold, or too long without maintenance maybe? Seems like they should at least be able to make SYD work if they brought back more planes

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT