The highlight of the show, the Etihad A380 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
Ever since I booked my trip to attend the Dubai Airshow, I had been quietly hoping that Etihad would bring their flagship A380 to the static display. This was, however, a long shot, as Etihad only has four A380s in service; to take one out of service for an airshow is a big ask. Emirates had confirmed sometime out that they would have an A380 on static display, as did Qatar Airways, but these two models did not excite me nearly as much as the Etihad A380.
Boarding the Etihad A380 for the media tour – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
I could barely contain my excitement, when on the first day of the airshow, Etihad confirmed their A380 would make an appearance the following day! As the aircraft was only scheduled to remain at Al Maktoum Airport for a few hours before returning to Abu Dhabi, it was my first priority to go see this aircraft.
We met with the PR staff at the Etihad chalet and they were more than willing to give us a tour of the aircraft, even driving to the display from the chalet in custom-branded golf carts — talk about a VIP experience.
Etihad, along with Boeing, went all out revealing their new livery, called “Facets of Abu Dhabi” on the 787-9
On a clear Saturday evening, Etihad Airways revealed their new livery on their first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Although the new livery had been previously seen on the airline’s first Airbus A380 just a few days earlier, it didn’t stop Etihad from celebrating and being excited about not only their new design, but also this new aircraft type.
The tail design is a dramtic departure for Etihad
Originally, the roll out of the 787-9 was planned from Boeing’s paint hangar at about 6:45pm local time. However, it was pushed back a bit to let it get darker to increase the dramatic effect of the special lighting.
The delay was okay, since there was a tent set up in almost a living room configuration, with appetizers and drinks being served to waiting airline employees, executives, Boeing representatives, and media.
There was no question that most everyone there was excited to see the plane, and the energy was high.