Etihad is expanding their A380 operations and today announced new A380 service between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai beginning May 1, 2016. The new service will join London, Sydney, and New York as Etihad A380 destination and Melbourne will join the growing list in June 2016 too. The A380 will replace a Boeing 777-300ER and will increase seats by nearly 50% on the frequency.
Starting May 1, 2016 Etihad will have the following routes between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai:
EY212 AUH0310 – 0825BOM 320 D
EY204 AUH1410 – 1920BOM 388 D
EY206 AUH2135 – 0250+1BOM 77L D
EY205 BOM0420 – 0610AUH 77L D
EY213 BOM1020 – 1210AUH 320 D
EY203 BOM2135 – 2325AUH 388 D
*routes courtesy of http://airlineroute.net
There will be a major differences between the level of service on each flight, but the A380 flight is timed perfectly for connections to and from North America and the Middle East, along with Etihad’s European Network on the return from Mumbai.
When booking flights on Etihad to Mumbai, do note the aircraft type as the A380 offers the luxurious residence, along with First class Apartments and lay flat seats in business, the B777 offers first class suites and lay flat business class seats, but the A320 only offers regional business class seats and no first class. Although Etihad’s A320 business class is comfortable, as I experienced on my way to Egypt, it is nothing like the B777 or A380. In addition, the A380 offers other great features such as a residence, inflight showers for first class passengers, and a bar shared by business and first class passengers.
Bookings for the A380 are now available between AUH and BOM and award flights are available as well. Do not forget that American Airlines is a partner of Etihad and award bookings for this short route are 17,500 for economy, 25,000 for business, and 35,000 for first class. In addition, the Middle East and India are the same award zone, so you can add this segment onto you AA award and flights from the USA to India would cost 45,000 for economy, 67,500 for business, and 90,000 for First. All award space can be searched via Etihad’s website and any booking that is listed under “Guest” can usually be booked by American Airline. If you need help securing award space with Etihad or any other airline, check out my Award Booking Service