Etihad Airways has used the rollout ceremony of its first Airbus A380 to publicly debut the airline’s new livery.
The first of 10 A380s on order, the aircraft (wearing the UAE registration A6-APA) was rolled out to guests and media at Airbus’s Hamburg, Germany facilities in a ceremony on Thursday evening.
The A380 is yet to fly and has not yet had its cabin interior – including Etihad’s innovative ‘The Residence‘ first class suite – fitted, and is due to be delivered to the Abu Dhabi-based airline in December, before entering service between Abu Dhabi and London on December 27.
Etihad’s first three A380s will be dedicated to the London route, allowing it to operate triple-daily A380 services on the route from early 2015, while subsequent deliveries will allow Etihad to operate the aircraft to Sydney from June 1 and New York “later in 2015”, the airline says.
Etihad says its entire fleet, currently just over 100 aircraft, will be repainted in the new colours over the next three years.
“This striking new livery … continues our commitment to breaking from convention and doing things differently. This is a real divergence from the norms of a traditional airline livery design and will stand out in the sky and at every airport we fly to,” Eithad president and CEO James Hogan said in a statement.
The livery was designed by brand consultants Landor Associates, and is intended to reflect “traditional Emirati design patterns, the landscapes of the desert and the geometric shapes found in the modern architecture of Abu Dhabi”, according to Etihad.