Ah Etihad Airways you’ve done it again! The Abu Dhabi based airline of late has been putting the knife into his product offerings, slowly killing off its ‘premium’ experience in a bid to fast track its way back to profitability after posting losses the last two years in a row.
What I thought was a cash cow for Etihad, the Sydney – Abu Dhabi leg, is not safe from its cost cutting measures. This month the airline announced it would remove the crowd favourite A380 with a downgrade to a B777 on one of its two daily Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights from October 2018 to late May 2019.
The flight affected is EY451 which departs Sydney 3pm and the returning EY450 leg back. The downgrade will take place 20 October 2018 to 4 December 2018, and then again from 7 February 2019 to 30 May 2019. Between the December-February dates listed above, EY451/EY450 will get a reprieve with the return of the A380.
The airline’s other daily service (EY454/455) will continue to feature the superjumbo, so if you are planning on flying the superjumbo note this before making a booking.
The change particularly isn’t great for passengers across the board with the B777 displaying the last gen seats for all classes. Moreover the B777 lacks the A380s lobby social lounge/bar area.
Etihad Airways announced that the change of aircraft was due to routine maintenance and has said it’ll notify guests booked on these services of the changes.
Whilst disappointed by the news (I’m an avid A380 fanboy), it sadly isn’t unexpected. My concern is how much further or for that matter low can the airline go in order to cut costs?!