Etihad Airways is to start a daily Airbus A380 service to Melbourne from June 2016, increasing capacity on the route by 26 per cent.
The Abu Dhabi carrier currently flies twice daily to the Australian city using a Boeing 777-300ER.
The replacement of one of the Boeing 777s with the A380 will take the total number of seats on the route per week past 11,500.
“Melbourne is an important point on our global network, and our Abu Dhabi to Melbourne services continue to generate very high seat load factors on a year round basis,” said Etihad president and chief executive James Hogan.
“After just three months of operations, demand for our second daily service is already exceeding our expectations. Deploying the 496-seat A380 to Melbourne will enable us to accelerate our growth in the Victorian market by providing additional capacity, particularly in business class, where demand for seats continually outstrips supply.”
Etihad commenced services to Melbourne on March 29, 2009. It added a second daily service to the route on August.