The flagship A350-1000 has a particular function in Etihad’s fleet. They are the carrier’s highest-capacity aircraft, surpassing several 777-300ER variants that are allegedly about to be decommissioned. The routes they are employed on are determined by their greater range compared to the airline’s high-capacity 787-10s and their biggest business cabin. Among them is London Heathrow, one of the five places to see the kind this winter.

Inside Etihad's Airbus A350
Inside Etihad’s Airbus A350 © Tom Otley

What makes Etihad’s A350 the “flagship” aircraft in the fleet?

  • The first class on Etihad’s A350s is absent.
  • Similar to British Airways’ A350 Club Suites, Etihad’s A350s include 44 business class seats with 79″ completely flat beds, 18.5″ displays with Bluetooth audio pairing, and wireless charging outlets. These seats are Collins Aerospace Super Diamond reverse herringbone seats with doors.
  • There is no premium economy aboard Etihad’s A350 aircraft.
  • There are 327 economy class seats on Etihad’s A3350s, each having a 13-inch screen, Bluetooth music pairing, charging connections, and personal device holders. The seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 layout and appear to be a respectable product (the A350 is a delight to travel overall).
  • There are now just five Boeing 787-9s in the airline’s fleet equipped with first class, and no further aircraft in the fleet are scheduled to have the cabin. I don’t think it would be economically feasible to maintain such a small first class fleet, hence I believe it will ultimately be phased out.

It’s noteworthy that its A350-1000s have the most business seats of any aircraft type in its fleet. When compared to other hub operators like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qatar Airways, Etihad’s A350s are highly dense.

See Inside Etihad's $366 Million Airbus A350 Flying to the US
Etihad’s flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350, with the highest capacity of any aircraft in their fleet © EA Photography

Where did Etihad A350 fly till now?

On March 31, 2022, Etihad’s A350s launched the inaugural service between Abu Dhabi and Paris Charles de Gaulle. One-time service was provided.

The original itinerary after the Paris service had a lot of regional destinations, perhaps to get the crew used to the new type before more long-haul destinations were added later.

Initial A350 destinations included:

  • Cairo – Abu Dhabi flight operates from May 2 until June 30 2022.
  • Delhi-Abu Dhabi operates from 30 April to 30 June 2022.
  • Abu Dhabi and Istanbul operates from 1 April to 30 June 2022.
  • Abu Dhabi and Jeddah operates from 3 April to 30 June 2022.
  • Abu Dhabi to Mumbai operates from 1 April to 30 June 2022.
New routes operated by Etihads Airbus A350
New routes from Abu Dhabi (ICAO: OMAA) operated by Etihad’s Airbus A350

Winter brings five new routes for the A350

Here are the destinations where Etihad’s A350-1000s will fly once the Northern Hemisphere winter season begins on October 30. It’s a high-capacity market with a respectable amount of premium demand, albeit not all require the type’s range:

1x per day by A350-1000 (EY151/EY150) operates between Abu Dhabi and Chicago.

6x weekly by type (EY218/EY211) from Abu Dhabi to Delhi

5x each week (EY11/EY12) from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow

6x each week (EY206/EY205): Abu Dhabi to Mumbai

1x each day (EY101/EY100) from Abu Dhabi to New York JFK.

Will you be flying on any of Etihad’s new Airbus A350 routes? Let us know in the comments below!

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