The first flight, numbered EY23, departed the UAE capital at 0215 on 1 February 2015 and arrived in Dusseldorf at 0640. The return service from then departed the German city at 1020 and arrived back in Abu Dhabi at 1950.
Special gift packs were provided to passengers on the inaugural flight, including luggage tags, passport holders and certificates.
“This is a tremendous milestone for Etihad Airways. The Boeing 787 is without doubt the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class,” said James Hogan, Etihad’s president & CEO.
“It will provide us with a clear reduction in operating costs and carbon emissions, at maximum reliability and efficiency. The dimensions and unique features of this aircraft have allowed us to customise it with the most innovative and sophisticated cabins, providing our guests with levels of comfort and attention to detail not previously enjoyed by the modern airline traveller.”
Etihad’s B787-9 Dreamliners includes eight ‘First Suites’, 28 ‘Business Studios’ and 199 seats in economy class. The twin-aisle aircraft also features Etihad’s new livery.
Etihad has ordered a total of 71 Dreamliner aircraft, including 41 standard B787-9s and 30 larger B787-10s. These will include a new two-class version of the B787-9, which will be introduced from 2016.
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