Etihad Airways will not return its Airbus A380 fleet to the skies as the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airline’s CEO Tony Douglas confirmed in an interview with The National News that “We have now taken the strategic decision to park the A380s, I’m sure it’s very likely that we won’t see them operating with Etihad again.”
This is another blow for the superjumbo, and is sad for premium travellers as the much revered Residence cabin (which sold for upwards of $10,000 per flight) was only found on these aircraft.
Etihad, like most of the world’s airlines, has been in a battle against financial losses as passengers numbers have plummeted during the coronavirus outbreak. Demand for air travel has been at an all-time low and much of the airline’s fleet has been parked up.
As it looks forward to recovery, Etihad sees that through mainly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.
A rollout of the Airbus A350 will not happen in 2021 or 2022, but is part of the airline’s future plan.
Etihad also has the Boeing 777-9 on order, but will push the first deliveries back till 2023 at the earliest.