Etihad Announces Big Increase to Summer London Services
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Etihad Airways has announced two additional daily services to London Heathrow (LHR), bringing the airline’s total to five daily flights over summer.
The announcement comes in the wake of Jet Airways ceasing operations, and the opening of its three daily Heathrow slots that are owned by Etihad Airways. The slot owner is required to use, sell or lease the slots, or risk losing them. Etihad has provided one slot to Air Serbia, with which it has a commercial relationship already. But rather than sell the remaining slots to an unrelated airline, Etihad is increasing its own services to five daily.
While five daily flights may sound like a dominant presence, Gulf rival Emirates will operate a massive 11 daily services this summer across three London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted).
Etihad currently operates triple daily flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and its home in Abu Dhabi (AUH), all using its flagship Airbus A380 with first class Apartments and its iconic Residence product.
Both additional daily flights will be operated by two-class Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which do not feature first class.
A fourth daily flight commences from 23 May 2019 with the following schedule:
- EY25 Abu Dhabi (AUH) 1:15pm Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 5:55pm Arrival
- EY26 London Heathrow (LHR) 9:20pm Departure ⇒ Abu Dhabi (AUH) 7:30am Arrival
The fifth daily flight starts 23 June 2019 with the following schedule:
- EY9 Abu Dhabi (AUH) 2:10am Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 06:45am Arrival
- EY10 London Heathrow (LHR) 9:30am Departure ⇒ Abu Dhabi (AUH) 7:50pm Arrival
The announcement is great news for anyone looking to use their points, as there is availability in business class on most days on the additional services, as well as some days over summer where all five flights are available on points.
The best way to book these flights is by using American Airlines AAdvantage miles, where you’ll be charged 42,500 miles per person in business class each way between London and Abu Dhabi. There are no fuel surcharges, but be aware of the substantial taxes on all premium long-haul flights from London.
You can also use Etihad Guest miles, which transfer from American Express Membership Rewards, but that will cost you a higher 62,500 miles per person. Note that Etihad has moved to variable pricing so some flights are pricing higher on the same route with the same aircraft type on the same day.
Featured photo courtesy of Etihad Airways.