UK_Dispatcher
Topic Author
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:57 am

Departure Airport: London Heathrow, United kingdom (EGLL/LHR)
Arrival Airport: Abu Dhabi - International, U.A.E. (AUH/OMAA)
Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight number: EY 304
Aircraft type: Airbus A330-223
Registration: A6-EYX (c/n 232)
Date: 31st May 2005
STD: 2115
Class: C (Pearl Zone)
Ticket Status: Confirmed
Scheduled Flight time: 7hrs 15mins



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Photo © Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography



After arriving into Terminal 1 with bmi, I collected my baggage and proceeded on foot to Terminal 3, via the underground walkway. I passed through the Virgin Atlantic check-in area into the main Terminal 3 check-in concourse, which was as busy as ever. I went straight so the SAS check-in in Zone E, where Etihad are checked-in by SAS.

After collecting my ticket and checking-in, I proceeded upstairs and through security, to escape from the hectic place that is Terminal 3 landside. I changed some of my money from GBP to AED, and headed straight to the O’Neill’s pub for a nice, cool pint of Stella. At GBP3.00, I was pleased to see it was still possible to get a pint for under 3 quid in London. I enjoyed my drink, but rather than get carried away, I headed off to Gate 6, from where flight EY304 would be departing. After having my passport checked again, my boarding pass was pulled and I entered the secure gate area.

I took a look out of the window to see which aircraft would be taking me to Abu Dhabi tonight, and was pleased to see that it was not one of the two EY aircraft I had flown on before. Etihad’s current fleet comprises the following aircraft, which are in a variety of seating configs as they are leased from various operators:
A6-EYA – A332 – F18C36Y171;
A6-EYB – A332 – F18C36Y171;
A6-EYC – A343 – F10C30Y225;
A6-EYD – A332 – F12C24W28Y152 (sold as F12C24Y180);
A6-EYV – A332 – C31Y267;
A6-EYW – A332 – C31Y267;
A6-EYX – A332 – F18C36Y171;
A6-EYZ – B763 – F10C36Y150.

Tonight I would be flying aboard A6-EYX.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports025.jpg

As I looked out at ‘YX, I noticed Jet Airways’ A340 VT-JWB on an adjacent stand, ready to operate 9W’s newly established LHR-BOM service. I think the 9W colourscheme particularly suits the A340, and ranks among my favourites.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports026a.jpg

I made several phone calls to friends from the gate, and then a SAS agent made the boarding announcement. Etihad Airways refers to passengers as ‘guests’, and guests traveling in Diamond Zone (F) were invited to board first. I don’t actually think anyone was traveling in Diamond Zone on this flight. When it was the turn of Pearl Zone (C) guests to board, I made my way down the jet bridge to the aircraft. I was welcomed at the L2 door by three very smart-looking crew members, dressed in Etihad’s smart dark grey inform with white veil. I had been allocated seat 9C in Pearl Zone, and had seats 9AC to myself. Naturally, I took seat 9A, by the window. The cabin of ‘YX is unchanged from when it was flying for TAM, Brazil.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports028.jpg

After a few minutes, one of the FA’s offered a selection of pre-departure drinks from a silver tray. I took a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, which was very refreshing.

Departure time was just a few minutes away, and the Captain spoke on the PA system to advise of a technical problem which would probably cause an approximate 30 minute delay if it could be rectified, which would mean powering down the aircraft. A minute or two later, the APU cut out, and the power and lighting were lost for a while.

I glanced to the left, and admired the AA 777-200 on the adjacent stand. The AA livery is so timeless, and should never be replaced, I thought.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports027.jpg

The power came back on after a few minutes, and the problem was sorted. After about a 1hr 15min delay, the BA engineer finally left the aircraft, and we pushed back. By now it was dark outside. ‘YX taxied out past Terminals 3 and 1, and joined the queue for take-off on Runway 27R, onto which my bmi flight had landed earlier. Several aircraft departed before us, including a BA 744, VS 744 and EK 773. Taxiing behind us was a World Airways MD11. I assumed this was operating on behalf of BWIA West Indies, as I had seen a BW flight on the departure screens which had been delayed since that morning, and I have seen WO filling in for BW on the BGI-MAN route in the past.

It was now our turn for departure, and ‘YX lined up on 27R. The engines whined into life, and the take-off roll commenced. Take-off was extremely smooth, and a nice view was had of the lights of LHR and the surrounding area. We soon banked to the left, and I was able to watch the WO MD11 take-off behind us. After departure, I was served a glass of white wine which I had ordered earlier, when asked what I would like to drink after take-off. I was my intention to sleep on this flight, as the IFE still leaves a bit to be desired on EY’s leased aircraft.

About 40mins into the flight, the meal service began. The Pearl Zone menu offered the following:

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Appetiser:

Smoked Peppered Salmon
On a bed of grilled artichoke served with pesto and salad julienne

Main Course:

Thai Prawn Curry with Arabian Rice (signature dish)
Green Thai curry served with Arabic style rice, accompanied by baby squash, roasted red peppers and baby spinach

Chicken Korma with Lemon Risotto
An Indian style preparation of chicken in a rich, mildly spiced curry sauce, served with Italian risotto rice, and sliced green eggplant

Cold Selection Medley (light option)
Of hot smoked peppered salmon with artichoke heart, and garden salad

Dessert:

Mascarpone with Mango Coulis
Italian Cheesecake garnished with summer fruits

Cheese and Fruit:

Cheese with Crackers

Fresh Fruits

Beverages:

Assorted Teas: Ceylon, Earl Grey, Green Tea

Coffee: Brazilian - Freshly Brewed, Decaffeinated, Cappuccino, Espresso

Hot Chocolate


I opted for the smoked peppered salmon, followed by the Thai prawn curry. Having had the same last time I flew on EY’s LHR-AUH service, I knew it would be good. It was presented nicely on Wedgwood china, although UK security rules still stipulate that plastic cutlery must be used on flights to/from the UK. After the service, I pulled down my window blind, reclined my seat and slept under the Etihad blanket for a few hours.

I awoke after the breakfast service had been completed – not that I’d have had anything but a cup of tea if offered. I pulled up the window blind to see that it was daylight outside. Within a few minutes we began our initial descent towards AUH, with the speed brakes being deployed for a short time.

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As we approached Abu Dhabi, there were nice views of the many islands and sandbanks in the area.

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A few minutes later, we landed in AUH.

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As we taxied towards the gate, a number of other aircraft were visible, including a Japan Airlines 744, China airlines 744, Etihad 332 and 763 and Gulf Air 763.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports040.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports041.jpg

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Then, it was time to head into Abu Dhabi. I slept for most of the day, and then started getting more familiar with my new surroundings.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/flymajj/TripReports043.jpg

Many thanks for reading my report on Etihad Airways – I do hope you enjoyed it. All comments are most welcome.

* * *

As usual, I looked into the history of the aircraft I had flown on.

A330-223 A6-EYX was previously with TAM, as PT-MVA. It was painted up for a lease to China Airlines, but the lease was cancelled due to the SARS outbreak. It was later leased to South African, before being leased to Etihad.


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Photo © Helmut Bierbaum
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Photo © Philippe Jeandy



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Photo © Renato Salzinger
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Photo © Simon Willson



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Photo © Remi Dallot



* * *

If you wish to read any of my previous reports, click on one of the links below:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/59300
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/55809
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/55071
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/53744
 
B742
Posts: 3562
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:03 am

Excellent report!  bigthumbsup 

How's life going in the UAE, are you living in Abu Dhabi?

I've always wanted to see what EY was like, thanks and great pics!

Rob!
 
michaeljp
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:30 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:38 am

Aaahh...Abu Dhabi.

Love that place! The busy bustling streets, the crazy taxidrivers, the crackhead drivers, the long road from Abu Dhabi to Dubai with a new higher speed limit now.
UAE certainly is a treat!
Last october I took that very same flight and I must say...I wasnt impressed.

However...you have restored my faith in Etihad...and I think I need to get dad to buy me a ticket to visit him once my last exam is done.

Cool trip report! Great photos! Awesome commentary! Looking forward to more!
 
fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:51 am

Nice report!

For J class that seat looks pretty piss poor!  thumbsdown 
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
UK_Dispatcher
Topic Author
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:36 pm

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 3):
For J class that seat looks pretty piss poor!

The cabin on this aircraft is in the TAM config, just as some of the A330s are in the ex-Volare config.

The latest aircraft, A6-EYD, is much nicer, and gives a much more accurate taster of what Etihad have in store when the current leased fleet is replaced. Expect big things from Etihad when the new A330-200s, A340-500s, A340-600s and 777-300ERs arrive.
 
LHR27C
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:49 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:03 pm

Hi,

Excellent report, it is nice to hear about Etihad and the photos are great - especially the approach into AUH. Well done!

Oliver
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
 
teva
Posts: 1764
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 12:31 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:19 am

Very nice report.
I just have a question: do they serve wine with the meals (as EK) or no alcohol at all?
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
flyingfool
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:28 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:06 am

Quoting MichaelJP (Reply 2):
the long road from Abu Dhabi to Dubai with a new higher speed limit now.

New speed limit, is this like the rest in the UAE also.... "oversized"?
 
UK_Dispatcher
Topic Author
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:14 am

Quoting Teva (Reply 6):
Very nice report.
I just have a question: do they serve wine with the meals (as EK) or no alcohol at all?
Teva

Yes, they do, if u want wine.
 
A340600
Posts: 3893
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:24 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:33 am

Congratulations on a fab report Ian biggrin 

Really detailed, and nice pictures, just my cup of tea Wink

Cheers,

Sam biggrin 
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
ozvirginuk
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:06 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:13 am

Ian,

An excellent report, very detailed and very interesting. Great pics too. Hope life in the UAE is treating you well, and that your new job is enjoyable.

Definately want to try out EY and would love a trip to the middle east too.

Nice one.

Oz
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:00 am

Thanks for a great trip report. I have always wondered what Etihad was like and your trip report was definitely informative, especially with the pictures.

SR 103
 
hardiwv
Posts: 4341
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:30 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:21 am

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 4):
The cabin on this aircraft is in the TAM config

Just a correction: they are in the old TAM configuration. Nowadays TAM has lie-flat seats on Biz/First on all A330s...when EY's 330 are returned to TAM (later in the year) I'm sure TAM reconfigurate them with their new lie-flat seats.

Rgs,
 
taloush
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 4:20 am

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:50 pm

Brilliant report! And the pics are excellent--a bit TOO excellent, in fact...I'm homesick now  Sad

It's OK though...It's my turn soon enough: July 2nd I fly DTW-LHR-AUH on BA...Yay  spin 

I heart Abu Dhabi...

Talal
Your attention, please.
 
KLM685
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:11 am

Great report! I liked reading it and watching the pictures. I'd love to go someday to the UAE, I know I will someday, but I don't know when lol.

I coudn't resist staring at the picture of the seats, where a safety card just half shows up...I collect them so when I see that I go: so close and so far at th same time :P
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
Matt27
Posts: 2070
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:53 pm

RE: LHR-AUH With Etihad Airways 31May05 [+ Pics]

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:21 am

An excellent report and very nice pics too.

//Mattias
Man ska inte dricka rödvin i en vit hall.

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