UAE long-haul operator Etihad Airways is currently recruiting additional crew and is set to re-deploy its A380 fleet next year, as travel demand across the carrier’s network has surged.

At least four of the airline’s superjumbo aircraft will be reintroduced starting from the summer of 2023, Etihad said in a statement on Friday. To support the capacity expansion, the airline said it is also currently recruiting additional staff, including pilots, cabin crew and technical ground personnel.

The airline did not specify all the destinations for the A380 flights, but it said it has plans to operate to London Heathrow and launch new flights in other locations.  

“The A380’s reintroduction provides a further boost to Etihad’s capacity into the key UK market, with a knock-on effect for the wider GCC and Indian subcontinent that will bring more visitors to the city of Abu Dhabi,” said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group.

The airline confirmed that it is preparing the aircraft for deployment next year.

“Part of this preparation includes the recruitment and training of A380 teams, including pilots, cabin crew and technical ground staff,” the airline said.

According to the carrier’s website, cabin crew recruitment is ongoing for several locations, including Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Finland, Canada, Philippines, Georgia, Austria, Bahrain, Germany, Belarus, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt and Estonia, among others.

The reintroduction of Etihad’s A380 fleet will be supported by the addition of five of their smaller A320 siblings. The wide-body aircraft features Etihad’s “flying apartment” that has a luxury bathroom, a double bed and its own butler.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Anoop Menon)