Yesterday Etihad announced that they will discontinue A380 daily services from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi as of the 29th of Oct 2017. On April the 25th the brand then went on to announce they would be moving the A380 to Sydney, making all Sydney flights to Abu Dhabi serviced by the A380. This decision comes less than a year since the brand opened their updated lounge in Melbourne.
The changes between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi are as follows:
EY460/461 777-300ER replaces A380 – 1 Daily
EY462/463 2-class 787-9 replaces 777-300ER – 1 Daily
So, what does this mean for Melbourne travellers? Firstly, The Residence will no longer be offered on the route, nor will the bar or lounge!
Melbournians will be able to fly on the brand’s Dreamliner, however, it will be a Two Class not a Three Class plane, meaning there will no longer be a new First Class product on the route. The amount of First Class seats will decrease from 9 to 8 and will all be old seats and the number of Business Class seats will decrease from 110 to 68 and 40 of those 68 will be the old product, which is, in my opinion, not even worth flying when compared to the new product I reviewed here. The daily total capacity will also decrease by 196 seats which is a significant reduction coming into Australia’s summer holiday.
For Victorian Velocity Frequent Flyers, this comes as another blow following Etihad’s increased award miles and segment fees last year. This move to discontinue A380 daily services will undoubtedly decrease award space – and that’s if you want to drop your hard earned miles travelling on an inferior older product. I’d be very surprised if Etihad doesn’t introduce a new First Class product to the route in the near future, however for time being it looks like those wanting to fly the brand’s new product will have to fly to Sydney first.
And of course, Sydney will now benefit from two A380’s meaning more award space, more First Class and more Business Class.
Stay tuned for my Etihad First Apartment Review in June.