Maldives and Seychelles Etihad flash sale – New A350 now operates from Heathrow!
Etihad has always been one of my top-rated airlines although they did go through a brief period of cost cutting a few years ago. They now seem to be in fine form with their new A350 starting service from London last week. The Airbus A350-1000 will now operate five times per week between Abu Dhabi International Airport and London Heathrow. EY11/EY12 is operated by the A350-1000 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The rest of the time it is operated by a B787.
There are some good value offers available on Etihad to some great destinations, including some from London. It’s a flash sale, you’ll need to be quick. Book by 12 October 2022 for travel until 10 June 2023. This offer is brought in conjunction with Luxury Flight Club, a subscription service.
The standout deal from the UK is Manchester to the Seychelles. However, from Manchester, it would be on their B787. There are better deals if you are willing to fly ex EU. The prices below are all business class return.
- Abu Dhabi £2,499
- Dubai £2,499
- Male £2,999
- New Delhi £2,299
- Seychelles £2,599
- Mumbai £2,399
- New Delhi £2,399
- Seychelles £1,999
- Tokyo £2,499
- Male €1,999
- Manila €1,799
- Mumbai €1,749
- Seychelles €1,899
- Singapore €1,899
- Zanzibar €1,699
You can search for fares and book here.
New Virgin Atlantic menus
Virgin Atlantic has launched its new Autumn/Winter menu across all cabins from 5th October, with a focus on seasonal comfort and destination-inspired dishes. I’ll be travelling with Virgin in a few weeks on their new A330 neo with the new business class seats, so I will give you a full review of the food then.
Upper Class customers will be welcomed onboard with a glass of Hambledon English sparkling wine paired with British raspberries and sweet rhubarb tonic, or Champagne and rosemary truffle artisan crisps. I used to live close to Hambledon, and it is a great English sparkling wine. It’s good to see Virgin championing British wines. I always say I’d rather have a great British wine than mediocre champagne!
New additions to the Upper Class menu include dishes such as; thyme and garlic roasted chicken with dauphinoise potatoes, baby carrots, tender stem broccoli and peppercorn sauce; miso and sesame crusted salmon with sweet potato purée, bok choi and a honey and ginger sauce and mushroom, red wine & tarragon pie with mashed potatoes, garden vegetables and herb gravy.
Virgin Atlantic has also added to its pre-order menu, where Upper Class and Premium customers can pre-select their inflight meals between 72-24 hours of departure. New additions include Lamb hotpot with vermicelli rice and seasonal vegetables and Vegetable korma with Gujarati green beans, jeera pilau rice and paratha. If you pre-order you get a larger choice of meals than they serve on the flight. I’ll report back on my flight on what the choices were.
Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Extra Bites menu also has some brand-new additions, including cream tea with fudge scones and clotted cream, salted caramel spread and strawberry jam. Customers can also choose from a gourmet fish goujon hot sandwich served with tartare sauce, and a chicken Caesar club sandwich served with salted crisps. Customers will also be offered brand new British Northern Bloc ice creams in chocolate chip and vegan lemon sorbet flavours.
Virgin Atlantic has also introduced new beverages to its onboard menu, including Brooklyn Pilsner, Cobra lager, and Lucky Saint non-alcoholic beer. Joining the line-up is people-pleaser Brook Ridge Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Diemersdal Pinotage from South Africa, and Soave and Pinot Noir from the family-owned Gianni Tessari estate.
Premium customers will get a fresh seasonal menu, with highlights including hearty chicken casserole with mustard mash and buttered savoy cabbage; classic shepherd’s pie, vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes or Thai green vegetable curry with steamed jasmine rice. Followed by Virgin Atlantic’s iconic Mile High Tea featuring delicate finger sandwiches, warm scones and a mini patisserie selection of lemon posset choux and walnut carrot cake.
Premium customers will also have a brand-new range of wellness super blends Twinings teas such as the ‘Sleep’ apple, vanilla and chamomile blend, or the after-dinner ‘Digest’ blend. For breakfast, Premium customers will enjoy a new enhanced selection of hot cooked breakfasts, served with fresh seasonal fruit, yoghurt, and breakfast pastries.
Last but never least, Economy features chicken tikka masala with saffron rice, red quinoa and green peas and creamy macaroni cheese with a panko and cheese crumb. Customers can also enjoy an on-demand pantry offering sweet and savoury snacks in between main meal services.
BA add extra Barbados flights after Covid restrictions end and new Aberdeen route
British Airways has added additional flights to Barbados from Gatwick over the Easter Holidays. There don’t seem to be lots of Avios seats available, but I can see some scattered business class and quite a few premium economy seats available. However, it is worth setting an alert with Reward Flight Finder if you are interested. It could be since they only just announced the extra flights; they may not have released the Avios seats on them yet.
The airline has added 10 additional flights between 26 March and 10 April. I visited Barbados in 2020 and am due to return this year. It was my favourite Caribbean island to date thanks to its friendly people, great beaches and wonderful restaurants as well as plenty to do.
At the end of last month, all Covid travel restrictions were finally removed for the island which has been super strict in the past. (I spent two days isolating when I arrived last time).
BA has also announced a new route on its subsidiary CityFlyer from London City to Aberdeen. This will start on 1 November until Sunday 22 January 2023 on the Embraer E190 aircraft.
Ticket are on sale now. The flights are daily with the outbound from London City in the evenings (except for Saturday’s mid-morning departure) and the flight from Aberdeen departing early morning. This makes it perfect for a day trip.
You can check the schedule and prices here.
HT: Making it Happen
Question on Etihad offers:
Business?: Not such a good deal
1st?: Excellent deal
They are business class. Compared to 3 years ago they are not good deals. However, the world has changed. If you look at prices from London and Manchester to Seychelles for example the average lowest cost is around £2500. So less than £2000 is a decent deal. At the moment prices are not forecast to fall for some time. It’s also about the airline. While you may get sub £2000 deals now and again ex EU these tend to be on airlines that I would deem to be inferior to Etihad or involve longer routings. But everyone has their own price they view as good value.
You mention that the Man-Seychelles flights are on a 787 but it seems many may be the 777? I thought Etihad had grounded those older planes and does seem to take away from the value of the <£2,000 business class fares?
I looked at random dates for Manchester and they showed the B787 but obviously I didn’t look at every day.
It looks like it changes in November but even the B777 still has flatbed with all aisle access which you can’t say about BA!
The ABZ-LCY is good news, I’m not sure how successful it will prove. A better route would have been to LGW to connect onto the BA leisure routes from there.
Interesting to see BA reinstate ABZ to LCY. They flew this route about 4 years ago but pulled it stating profitability. The flights were very popular with Politicians and those working in Government from the North and North East of Scotland, due to the Underground line which ran from LCY to Westminster Station.The BA lounge at Aberdeen often resembled BBC TV Question Time. If the flights are well supported perhaps they will consider retaining it.
It’s amazing how some FF seem to have missed the fact that the cost of lots of things have gone up since the covid pandemic, rising cost of aviation fuel, staff shortages, route cuts, airlines seeking to regain lost revenue. No longer can you get the TP runner special to HNL for as little as £1,200. Now £1,8-950 is a good price!
Not as low as before but they are still findable – got a BUD-HNL trip for £1400. BUD-West Coast has recently appeared for around £1300 as well.
Which months did you find them in …2023. .
January onwards on Thursday and Saturday
the Aberdeen to city route is very welcome indeed and a interesting move indeed. BA already fly to and from both Glasgow and Edinburgh from City so I hope this latest addition will be successful and viable. LCY is a great airport that can do well I feel from more domestic connections especially given its great central London location
A great route, but for less than 3 months then it’s cut. What’s the point?? ????
I believe it’s a trial so hopefully if it’s popular they will keep it.
If it is LCY-ABZ in the evening and southbound in the morning I guess you mean perfect fro a day trip TO London from Aberdeen?
Yes. I didn’t say either way as I thought it was obvious with the timings. It makes sense that people would be travelling to London on business I guess.
The airlines admit that business travel is down. BA extend their regular seat sales. BA cancel flights. Schipol limit passengers. Yet airlines seem to think that leisure passengers will jointly recompense them for covid losses by charging ridiculous prices for seats, which they justify by “capacity” reductions – which they imposed themselves by flight cancellations!! Just how soft minded do they think airline passengers are? Speak with your credit card and wait until prices are forced down by passengers finally waking up to what they are being taken for!
My upcoming trip to BNA and LAX is entirely Avios funded and Im trying to burn my way through these before even considering buying a J class ticket to the USA for over £2k!!!
Well said, Nigel.
Looking forward to trying the Virgin menus on the 2:40 New York flight today!
But didn’t spot any pre-order options?
You have to order a certain time in advance so I don’t know how long ago you looked? It’s normally under manage my booking. I’ll check once I get my flight details.
Think it was 24-48hrs before? Food was good especially bread and butter pudding! Chicken pie was quite large though.
Having checked out the Manchester to Seychelles flights, it seems from mid-November they are using old 777s so business class deals may not the best value
The seats are not as good as the business suites but they are still a flatbed with all aisle access.
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