Etihad Airways is raising capacity between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne next summer by introducing daily Airbus A380 flights.
The 496-seat superjumbo will operate one of the airline’s twice daily Abu Dhabi-Melbourne services from June 1, 2016.
This will enable passengers from London to fly on A380s on the kangaroo route via Abu Dhabi.
The new A380 will increase the total number of return seats on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi route by 26% to more than 11,500 seats a week.
The aircraft will replace one of the three-class Boeing 777-300ERs on the route.
Etihad Airways added a second daily frequency to Melbourne in August.
President and chief executive, James Hogan, said: “The launch of A380 services to Melbourne is good news for travellers on the very popular route.
“What’s more, the A380 service from Melbourne will connect seamlessly in Abu Dhabi to the A380 to London, offering our London-bound guests the convenience and class-leading comfort of an all-A380 service all the way.”
He added: “After just three months of operations, demand for our second daily service is already exceeding our expectations.
“Deploying the 496-seat A380 to Melbourne will enable us to accelerate our growth in the Victorian market by providing additional capacity, particularly in business class, where demand for seats continually outstrips supply.”
Victoria’s tourism and major events minister, John Eren, said: “Etihad’s decision is good news for Victoria’s visitor economy and further proof we’re headed in the right direction. It means more visitors from all over the world will see for themselves everything we offer.
“Victoria has a positive relationship with Etihad Airways and, through our partnership marketing efforts in the key markets of UK and Europe, more visitors can experience Melbourne and regional Victoria’s award-winning tourism attractions and nature-based experiences.”
Etihad Airways codeshares on Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand flights from Melbourne to Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Launceston, Mildura, Newcastle, Perth, Queenstown, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Wellington.
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