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
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.
HT: Making it Happen