Etihad celebrates two decades at London Heathrow

Etihad A380 in London
Etihad A380 in London

From the A340 to the A380, Etihad has grown its connection between Abu Dhabi and London

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has recently celebrated two decades of flying from London Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) with its first service operating on the 28th March 2004.

2004 saw the airline beginning a three-times-per-week service between the two cities using an Airbus A340, a route and airline that soon became known for its excellence.

Strong demand has seen the airline grow its presence at Heathrow to four daily flights operated by a mix of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Etihad Airbus A380 features the airline’s famous Residence suite which offers unrivalled luxury both in the air and on the ground. On the aircraft, the suite offers a separate living area and bedroom as well as private bathroom and shower facilities.

Etihad’s First, Business and economy cabins also offer a service that makes Etihad one of the best airlines in the world.

Etihad also has a lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 where passengers can enjoy a taste of the UAE before boarding with curated menus and Abu Dhabi-inspired surroundings.

Etihad Airbus A380 at London Heathrow
Etihad Airbus A380 at London Heathrow

Jeremy Pollock, Etihad Airways Country Manager UK and Ireland, said: “Introducing flights from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi was a key part of the airline’s strategy following the carrier’s launch in 2003.

“To celebrate 20 years since our inaugural flight is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with Etihad Airways – especially our dedicated workforce across the UK and Ireland. 

“Etihad now operates four daily flights from London, highlighting the strong demand among UK-based customers to explore Abu Dhabi and the Middle East following a flight travelling in style and comfort, looked after by our excellent, award-winning cabin crew.”

Abu Dhabi gives travellers access to a wide range of connections to destinations across Etihad’s network including Asia and Oceania.

They also offer various destinations across the wider Middle East, Africa and Indian sub-continent.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: Etihad)
Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: Etihad)

Henry Naya, Etihad Airways Airport Manager London Heathrow, who has been with Etihad since it launched its London flights said: “We were in our infancy at that point, operating A340s. Everything was new, but we also realised we were onto something special and it was very exciting.

“Other airlines around the Gulf were starting to take off and we could feel we were the next one. There was so much energy around the launch and we ran on adrenalin for that first year.

“I’m not surprised to be here 20 years later because we are ahead of the curve again and looking forward to the next challenges.”

Etihad itself formed just one year before it began its flights from London and has always been an ambitious airline. As well as London, 2004 saw it launch other routes from Abu Dhabi to destinations including Bangkok to Bahrain, Delhi to Dammam and Munich to Mumbai.

Last year Etihad opened its new home at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport which uses state-of-the-art technology to handle up to 45 million a year to 117 destinations across the globe paving the way for the next 20 years, and beyond, for this high-quality airline.

About Nick Harding 1965 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

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