As part of restarting their extensive network, Etihad Airways has announced a number of new services and special flights operating to and from its home hub of Abu Dhabi. This includes a new Sydney to London via Abu Dhabi service, in addition to the newly introduced Melbourne-London route.
Throughout May and June, Etihad will increase frequencies on previously announced special flights and will add new services to Belgrade, Dublin, Geneva, Milan, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Toronto. All this while the airline continues to follow UAE and international government regulatory standards, introducing a high level of hygiene practices at every step throughout the typical passenger journey.
These measures include mandatory mask use, deep cleaning of aircraft at every destination, and tweaks to the typical seat map to ensure more space between passengers where possible. More information about the steps Etihad are taking can be found here.
Though it’s the current UAE regulations regarding transit passengers which will be one of the biggest changes, especially for those travelling between Sydney or Melbourne and London. This means that passengers who board the Boeing 777-300ER used to fly these routes won’t be able to actually leave the aircraft until they arrive at London Heathrow; no one will be permitted to disembark during the stopover at Abu Dhabi, making the time spent on the actual aircraft over 24 hours.
The new Sydney service departs on flight EY455 each Wednesday on 27th May, 3rd June and 10th June at 9pm. It arrives in Abu Dhabi at 5:50am the following morning, where passengers will remain onboard while the aircraft refuels and crew is changed. The flight then becomes EY19, taking off at 7:15am and touching down at London Heathrow, Terminal 2 at 11:50am.
On the other way around, flight EY20 leaves London Heathrow each Thursday at 1:20pm. It arrives in Abu Dhabi at 11:55pm and, like above, passengers stay on board. The flight then becomes EY454 and takes off at 12:45am for a Sydney landing time of 8:40pm.
Do note that anyone who wants to fly internationally at the moment needs to apply for special exemption, seeing as travel is still under significant lockdown due to the ongoing global pandemic. You can visit