Etihad to fly Airbus A380 to Melbourne from June 2016

Etihad to fly Airbus A380 to Melbourne from June 2016

Etihad Airways' flagship Airbus A380 will begin daily flights to Melbourne from June 1st, 2016, bringing with it the world's best first class experience as well as the world's most expensive commercial jet ticket.

The former is Etihad's First Class suites, which have been christened as Apartments – and it's not hard to see why.

Each Apartment has a total area of 3.6 square metres (39 square feet) and is finished in Poltrona Frau leather.

And while other first class seats generally follow the convention of converting into a flat bed, either by laying the seat down or flipping it over, Etihad's primo cabin has a seperate seat and bed.

And the seat's not just a seat: it's more of a reclining leather-clad lounge chair.

Across from this is a full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide bed.

A handful of the nine suites have connecting doors so that passengers travelling together can share the experience.

Each suite also has a 24-inch flat screen TV, its own chilled mini-bar, a personal wardrobe and a vanity cabint with lit make-up mirrors, stocked with luxury branded amenities.

Passengers in the nine Apartments also have access to a single shower suite.

Read more: Inside Etihad's new Airbus A380 first class apartments

But if you're after the ultimate in sky-high luxe, keep walking past those one-room suites towards The Residence – a three-room VIP supersuite with its own living room...

... bathroom/shower suite...

... and bedroom.

Oh, and did we mention your personal Savoy-trained butler?

This is truly a slice of Downton Abbey at 40,000 feet.

A return trip from Melbourne to London in this 'penthouse in the sky' will set you back some $80,000.

Read: Inside The Residence, Etihad's A380 supersuite

Most Australian Business Traveller readers will of course be resting up in Etihad's business class, with 70 comfortable and well-appointed Business Studio pods stretched along the remainder of the superjumbo's top deck.

The 1-2-1 layout affords each passenger direct access to the aisle, and of course each seat converts into a long and fully-fled bed.

Read: Inside Etihad's Airbus A380 Business Studio business class

Located between the first and business cabins, and available to passengers from both those premium classes, is The Lobby.

This social area features a lounge and bar with leather sofas, marquetry table and large-screen television.

Also read: 10 things you should know about Etihad’s A380

Etihad's swish superjumbo will run on flights EY460/461, one of the airline’s two daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi services, replacing the currently scheduled Boeing 777-300ER.

The ex-Melbourne flight EY461 is wheels up at 10.40pm to arrive into Abu Dhabi at 6.45am the following day, with a raft of onwards connections – several featuring Etihad's new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 – into the UK and Europe.

An all-new Etihad Airways lounge, similar to its Sydney sibling (shown below), is also expected to open its doors in the first quarter of 2016.

Also read: Etihad's First Class, Residences lounge at Abu Dhabi opens early 2016

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

21 comments

  • Hugo

    Hugo

    26 Oct, 2015 10:29 am

    I've never figured out what the supposed difference is between an inflight "butler" and a much more prosaic "flight attendant". 

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    26 Oct, 2015 11:26 am

    It's called marketing.  Certain words/labels/titles are used to create an (exclusive)'experience' to make the consumer feel 'special'....and gives the business justification for selling the particular product at a 'premium' ;)  This 'phenomenon' is not unique to just airlines lol

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  • Tom Goddard

    TomGoddardd

    26 Oct, 2015 10:31 am

    David, is the leg room ok when you were sitting in the lounge chair? 

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  • Propofol88

    Propofol88

    26 Oct, 2015 05:15 pm

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  • Propofol88

    Propofol88

    26 Oct, 2015 05:16 pm

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  • Truie

    Truie

    26 Oct, 2015 11:12 am

    The A380 Apartment is a great product, the flashest 1st class in the market without doubt however, I personally think the bed is hard. If it had a softer cover on it, it would be spectacular.

    Yes, I know, before you all start, this is a 1st world problem only.

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  • jubbing

    jubbing

    26 Oct, 2015 07:30 pm

    Yes I've read they are looking at working on a softer matress (which shows that many people have complained about it). 

    Just hope they open up their F lounge in Abu Dhabi soon (since Qatar has just opened their F lounge). Also wonder if this means they'll open their own lounge in Melbourne, rather than using the Air NZ lounge. 

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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    26 Oct, 2015 11:13 am

    Etihad is very serious with Aus market. Not only they partnered with Coles, now they are offering a second A380 to us, the only country in the world to have 2 A380 service in EY's network! Also BNE was one of the first to receive 787 as well!

    Hopefully this will stimulate other airlines (I'm looking at you, SQ!) to bring more competitive product to us. 

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  • SH Tan

    adelguy

    26 Oct, 2015 02:30 pm

    Well said, Michael! The ME3 are really stepping up their game with this and also QR's entry into Sydney, Adelaide etc.

    On SQ, they need to restore A380 service to MEL and offer a second frequency to ADL - either mainline or Scoot. One daily flight is not enough! 

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  • abudhabi1

    abudhabi1

    26 Oct, 2015 10:18 pm

    ADL should have a daylight service for people connecting from Europe as well as those coming home from a Singapore Holiday amongst other places not just this seasonal variety.There are a lot of us who would rather not have to deal with the immigration there in the mornings and instead of having to travel through the night to get back to Australia can leave around 8:30am and be back in SA around 5pm(Winter)and 6pm(Summer)plus be in our own homes and beds the same night.

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  • log0008

    log0008

    26 Oct, 2015 07:18 pm

    Maybe there ex Australian CEO has a soft spot? 

    I agree SH, it used to feel like Emirates hade almost all the flights to the ME but sometimes I am suprised they still only have one DIRECT service from Melbourne 

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  • BeijingBogan

    BeijingBogan

    26 Oct, 2015 12:41 pm

    I personally think the first apartments are a stunning offering hard product wise. Very comfortable, and i can think of many worse ways to fly.

    I could get used to that ! 

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    26 Oct, 2015 03:05 pm

    Melbourne AND Sydney? SQ will really have to step things up to compete on the Kangaroo Route.

    I guess SQ could leverage the fact they (unlike Etihad) have Premium Economy, and they also have a more comfortable Economy (extra pitch and I think width). Their Business Class is also roomier than Etihad's, however Etihad have the bar/lounge.

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    26 Oct, 2015 03:08 pm

    Also to continue...

    I bet they'll codeshare with VA on this flight, and thus make a play for QF's passengers as well. QF's only real advantage is Premium Economy (since Etihad don't cater to that market segment) - Etihad's Business and First are both better than the QF equivalents. That said, much of the fun from First Class comes from the departure lounge, and QF's First lounge in Melbourne is better than Etihad's equivalent.

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  • Shoudy Chen

    Shoudy Chen

    26 Oct, 2015 04:59 pm

    A pretty good read David. The Residence is one of the finest traveling classes on Etihad.

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  • spudseamus

    spudseamus

    26 Oct, 2015 06:34 pm

    Surly they will open a new lounge in MEL by then ? 

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  • log0008

    log0008

    26 Oct, 2015 07:07 pm

    "n Etihad spokesman said it was expected to open in the first quarter of next year, ahead of the arrival of the A380, to bring additional luxury to its product on the ground."

    From SMH 

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  • log0008

    log0008

    26 Oct, 2015 07:05 pm

    Guess they must be getting prity good loading then with the double daily only a few months old. When they annonced the second daily flight i asumed it would push the A380 back a few years! 

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  • jubbing

    jubbing

    26 Oct, 2015 07:28 pm

    Wow this is amazing! I was thinking how inconvinient it would have been to fly to sydney then change a plane to fly to Melbourne as well if you really wanted to experience the Apartments to Australia.

    Fantastic move by Etihad, to bring one ofthe best hard products out there to Melbourne as well :D

    Side note: Hopefully this means they will release a few award seats as they generally keep very little to none on their A380's. 

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  • Helen Zeimer

    Mrs H

    30 Oct, 2015 04:10 pm

    Which flight will get the A380 Abu Dhabi to Melbourne?

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  • sehomer

    sehomer

    1 Jun, 2016 11:12 am

    Wow that's classy

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24 May, 2019 11:21 am

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