When Etihad flight EY888 landed in Beijing this morning at 05:25 (local time) it was a significant occasion. After all the turmoil that the past two years have thrown up, EY888 signaled the start of the first regular non-stop international passenger service to Beijing by a foreign carrier since the Chinese capital's authorities announced that services could resume.
As the travel world continues to recover from the shock of the past two years and airlines start to see demand claiming back towards levels last seen in 2019, Etihad has brought back its stopover deals for travelers transiting through Abu Dhabi.
Like all the pre-pandemic residents of T4, Etihad had to move into temporary accommodation as the pandemic ran roughshod over the travel industry and demand for flights plummeted, but with Terminal 4 now scheduled to reopen next week, the carrier has confirmed that it will be shuttering its operations in Terminals 2 and 3 and heading back to its original home.
The Dubai Airshow is currently in full swing and amidst a few impressive fly-bys and a lot of industry talk, a cabin that a lot of us have been waiting to see has made its first public appearance - the Etihad A350-1000 Business Class cabin has finally been unveiled.
The Etihad Airbus A380 is home to the most opulent way of traveling on a commercial airliner (The Residence), one of the world's best First Class seats (the Etihad First Class Suite) and it's only one of two commercial aircraft to offer an onboard shower. Sadly, if you were hoping to try out any of these indulgences you won't be doing so any time soon.
It was September 2018 when Etihad became the first of the Gulf carriers to introduce a "hand baggage only" fare but, unlike most other airlines that offer a similar option, Etihad has only been offering these fares on select short-haul routes in its local region. As of this month, however, things have changed and flyers can now buy Etihad's "Deal Fare" on routes further afar.
Etihad has joined the growing list of airlines that are scheduling increased services between their home hubs and various cites in the United States and, in some cases, restarting routes that have been mothballed since the start of the current crisis. Etihad's latest schedule changes seen the airline planning to significantly increase services to Chicago and New York in just a few weeks' time.
Through 24 June 2020, Etihad is selling travel vouchers with a 50% bonus as it looks to boost its cash reserves to help it ride out the current storm, but considering the state of the airline industry right now, is this an option people should be considering?
If you have an American Express card in your wallet you can probably currently get up to 10% off almost all Etihad bookings courtesy of a new offer that has appeared today. Bookings must be made by 14 September 2019 but flights can be taken at any time within the current booking window.