Thursday 27th of April - 20:15pm
Further to Tuesday's news of Etihad pulling their A380 service to Melbourne - On Wednesday the airline announced that Sydney will receive these A380 aircraft to replace the Boeing 777 metal on flights EY450/451.
When this tales place at the end of October, it will bring Sydney inline with London and New York as 'All A380' operations for the airline. New York has it's second daily flight changing from the B777 to A380 on June 1st 2017. These moves echo the Hub to Hub philosophy that spawned the A380 idea in the first place with Etihad delivering the maximum volume of people at one time to a major forwarding point for travel onwards, or simply to the or close to the busiest airport/city in that particular country.
For Etihad customers looking for travel from Sydney through to Europe, this means you can now experience a seamless A380 service all the way to London Heathrow. Probably coincidental, but this change will happen around the same time as the recently talked about Singapore Airlines A380 upgrade, with brand new interiors slated to first fly between Singapore and Sydney and then into Europe. Currently tipped for October to celebrate the first A380 flight between SIN-SYD.
In news today, Qantas have pulled their QF9/10 A380 service from the MEL-DXB-LHR service, in favour of the new Boeing 787-9 flights from MEL-PER-LHR. This will free up two A380's in the QF fleet, and speculation points to them being sent to Asia, although this is far from confirmed. Possibly MEL-HKG as the airline looks to retire their much loved Boeing 747 fleet.
All of these moves point to a victory for customers looking to holiday in Europe, as the battle heats up for the Kangaroo route's lucrative passenger loading - One wonders when British Airways (the only European airline still flying to Sydney) will decide to weigh their A380's into the mix..
In a clearly orchestrated move, Emirates also announced today that they will be upgrading all Melbourne flights to A380's on the same date as their codeshare partner Qantas' B787-9 flights commence - March 25th 2018.
This leaves only Adelaide and Brisbane receiving the Emirates B777 metal.
So many moves and there's undoubtably more to come! Stay tuned..
Author: James Lusher