Etihad Airways has deployed the Airbus A380 on the Melbourne route, with the Gulf airline’s first service operated by the 496-seat flagship touching down in Australia’s second largest city on Thursday evening.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will now operate the A380 on one of its twice daily flights to Melbourne, replacing a 777-300ER on its EY460-EY461 rotation.
The inaugural A380-operated EY460 touched down in Melbourne at 5:42pm on Thursday, with the reciprocal EY461 to Abu Dhabi due to depart at 10:15.
With Melbourne coming online as an A380 port, Australia becomes the only country in the Etihad network with daily A380 services to two cities – Melbourne and Sydney.
“Our Abu Dhabi to Melbourne services generate very high seat load factors year-round,” Etihad Airways senior vice president of marketing, Shane O’Hare, said in a statement.
“The A380, with 70 seats in business class, enables us to better meet the demand we have for our premium cabins and will boost our market share of this important segment.”
Etihad’s Abu Dhabi-Melbourne schedule, effective June 1 2016