LONDON – Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A350-1000 has inaugurated London Heathrow for the first time from the airline’s base of Abu Dhabi.
The flight took place yesterday at 0746GST, before landing at Heathrow at 1152BST.
Operating as EY2008, A6-XWB was the A35K in question that operated the flight, with the return departing Heathrow at 2100BST last night.
Congratulations in Order…
The airline hasn’t released a statement on this milestone at the time of writing, but engine manufacturer Rolls Royce, who produces the Trent XWB shared their congratulations on social media:
Etihad officially inaugurated its Airbus A350-1000s back in March 2022, with the first service being deployed to Paris CDG.
A6-XWB was the A350 that officially inaugurated operations, by which you can see Etihad following some form of a theme regarding the Heathrow operations.
The aircraft was delivered to Etihad Airways back in May 2019, but was stored in Bordeaux until May 2021 and then painted in the special “Year of the Fiftieth” livery in November 2021.
Since then, the aircraft has been participating in static displays around the world, including the most recent being on sustainability and aviation.
Etihad Has Five A350-1000s Already…
According to Planespotters.net, five A350-1000s have already been delivered to Etihad already.
XWA, XWC, XWE, and XWF are still parked, having been delivered between the timeframe of July 2019 to May 2020.
It is unclear at this time when these other aircraft will also begin operations but it is a good sign that Etihad has begun operations with these aircraft.
There have been significant changes to the A350 mega-order it placed many years ago.
Continuing in the theme of the A350, the carrier even signed a letter of intent for five A350 Freighters back in February 2022, highlighting what sort of focus aircraft-wise the airline will be taking over the next few years.
Busy Summer Ahead…
Etihad couldn’t have started these sorts of operations at a better time, especially with the Summer 2022 season fast approaching.
All four services are set to be commencing from mid-June. The three returning destinations are, Malaga in Spain, Santorini in Greece, and Zanzibar, an island in the Indian Ocean part of Tanzania.
Malaga will be operated by Etihad’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner with both Santorini and Zanzibar being operated by their Airbus A320.
The new destination that Etihad will be commencing is the island of Crete in Greece, namely the main city on the island Heraklion. This new route will also be operated by their Airbus A320 aircraft and will begin on June 15, 2022.
It remains clear in this case that Etihad is preparing itself for a successful summer, and it is clear also that the A350-1000 will form some level of success in achieving this.