Etihad Airways will add Sydney as the airline’s second Airbus A380 destination when it deploys the double-decker superjumbo to the NSW capital from its Abu Dhabi-hub on June 1 next year.
The airline confirmed Sydney as the second A380 route on Wednesday, with London the inaugural city.
The daily A380 service, operating as EY454 from Abu Dhabi and the reciprocal EY455 from Sydney, will replace the Boeing 777-300ER currently operating the route.
Etihad flies 11 times a week between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, while its alliance partner Virgin Australia flies the route three times a week.
Etihad’s A380 aircraft have economy, business and first class, as well as the airline’s Residence concept, where two people share a living space, a bedroom and have access to their own bathroom.
It was due to debut on the Abu Dhabi-London route from December 27.
A return ticket for two people in the residences between Sydney and London was about $86,000, according to a dummy booking for travel in June 2015 on the Etihad website.
The airline had previously announced it would use the Boeing 787-9 on its daily Brisbane-Abu Dhabi route from June 1 2015.
As part of preparations for bringing the A380 and 787 into service, Etihad said 149 pilots were currently undergoing a combination of simulator and classroom training, as well as flying the A380 and 787 with other airlines.