Abu Dhabi Returns To British Airways’ Network, Terminal A Opening Nears

abu Dhabi terminal a
Credit: Abu Dhabi Media Office

British Airways (BA) is reinstating service between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) next year following a four-year hiatus.

Flights will resume on April 20, 2024, operating daily using Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The 3,426-mi. (2,977-nm) route will be offered year-round, complementing the Oneworld alliance member’s existing up to 3X-daily service to nearby Dubai.

BA will operate to AUH’s long-awaited Terminal A, which is set to officially open on Nov. 1. The terminal will double the existing airport capacity, with the capability to accommodate up to 45 million passengers per year.

Etihad Airways plans to operate a ceremonial flight on Oct. 31, ahead of opening to the public the next day. Airlines will transition into Terminal A in three phases over a two-week period.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and 15 other international airlines will start flying from the new terminal on Nov. 1, while Etihad Airways will operate 16 daily flights from Nov. 9. Etihad will then become fully operational from its new home on Nov. 14, alongside Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and 10 other airlines. A total of 28 airlines are expected to be fully operational from Terminal A by mid-November.

“Terminal A will drive the growth of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi and play an instrumental role in welcoming more businesses and tourists to the emirate for decades to come,” Abu Dhabi Airports Managing Director and Interim CEO Elena Sorlini says.

When fully operational, the X-shaped Terminal A building will have 377,000 ft.2 (35,000 m²) of retail space with 163 shops and food and beverage outlets. There is also a 138-bedroom hotel.

Once BA returns to Abu Dhabi, it will become the second airline serving the LHR-AUH sector alongside Etihad. The Gulf carrier currently offers four daily flights using a mix of Airbus A380s, 787-9s and 787-10s. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the carrier offers some 20,958 two-way weekly seats at present, up from 16,800 this time a year ago and from 16,100 during the same week in 2019.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.