Etihad Airways has introduced Mumbai to its Airbus A380 network with the launch of daily scheduled flights featuring its award-winning The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner.
Flight EY204 from Abu Dhabi landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai last night (May 1) on the celebrated occasion of Maharashtra Day, the 56th anniversary of the state’s formation.
Mumbai becomes the airline’s fourth A380 destination following London Heathrow, Sydney and New York, with Melbourne set to join on June 1.
Etihad Airways senior management team led by Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President Commercial UAE, flew on the inaugural flight, arriving to a traditional lamp lighting ceremony attended by officials from the airline and Mumbai airport operator, GVK.
Due to the current water crisis currently gripping the State of Maharashtra, Etihad Airways decided not to proceed with a customary water salute that typically marks the arrival of an airline’s first flight to an airport.
The choice of Maharashtra Day to launch the world’s largest passenger jet to India reinforced the airline’s commitment to the country; to meet an increase in demand for air services; and to support growing trade and tourism in India.
With the aircraft upgrade, Etihad Airways is able to offer an all-A380 daily service in both directions between Mumbai and New York JFK International with a seamless connection over Abu Dhabi.
The inaugural A380 Mumbai operational crew included 22 all-Indian cabin crew and Indian pilots, Captain Ramesh Krishna, from Hyderabad, and First Officer Irfan Rizvi, from Mumbai.
Captain Krishna said on arrival: “It’s a great honour to fly Etihad Airways’ first A380 into India with today’s launch serevice to Mumbai. Being Indian and living and working in the UAE, this truly is a day of pride for me, my home country and my adopted country to fly our largest aircraft into India for the first time.”
Etihad Airways’ A380 features a total capacity of 496 seats – up to two guests in The Residence, nine First Apartments, 70 Business Studios, and 415 Economy Smart Seats.