Etihad Airways Launches A350 on Abu Dhabi–Toronto Route


Etihad Airways has announced that it’s boosting the number of flights to North America later this year, and it will be doing it in style when it flies to Toronto.

This fall, Etihad’s service to Boston will be increased from four-times weekly to daily, but perhaps the bigger news here is the change the airline has announced regarding its Abu Dhabi to Toronto route.

As of October 27, 2024, Etihad Airways will launch its Airbus A350-1000 on the daily Toronto flights, complete with the airline’s newest business class product.

Etihad Airways Launches A350 on Abu Dhabi–Toronto Route

In addition to increasing its number of flights out of Boston this fall, Etihad Airways will begin flying its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft once daily from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

The move will be an impressive upgrade to the passenger experience, given the current route is operated on the airline’s most outdated aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER.

For the winter season, the route will operate with the following schedule:

  • EY21, Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ), departing 2:45am and arriving 9:25am
  • EY22, Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Abu Dhabi (AUH), departing 3:30pm and arriving 12:20pm the next day

According to Etihad’s Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer, Arik De, the introduction of the Airbus A350 to Toronto “aligns with the airline’s strategy to meet an increase in customer demand”.

The Airbus A350-1000 features Etihad’s newest cabin interior, which includes the latest iteration of its business class product.

Etihad A350 Business Class 10
Etihad Airways is launching the A350-1000 to Toronto later this year

Each of the 44 business class suites converts into a 79-inch fully flat bed with sliding doors, and comes complete with wireless charging, noise-cancelling headphones, and an 18.5- inch TV screen.

Plus, ​​business class passengers enjoy ordering from a curated à la carte menu, and can also choose to eat at their leisure with the dine anytime service.

How to Book Etihad Airways with Points

If news of the A350-1000 on the Abu Dhabi to Toronto route has you considering a flight this fall and you’re looking to do it on points, the three best options to consider are Air Canada Aeroplan (economy only), Air France KLM Flying Blue, and American Airlines AAdvantage.

You could also use Etihad Guest, but award rates are quite high and the cancellation policy is punitive, so you’re better off going with the other programs. The tradeoff here is that you’ll have access to more award availability with Etihad Guest than through other programs.

Aeroplan continues to only have access to economy flights only with Etihad Airways, and a one-way flight will cost you 55,000 points plus $115 in taxes and fees. Should business class awards ever return, a one-way flight would cost 90,000 Aeroplan points.

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Aeroplan points are easy to earn through a number of co-branded credit cards and 1:1 transfers from American Express Membership Rewards.

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85,000 Aeroplan points

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Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points†

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Up to 40,000 Aeroplan points† $735

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50,000 Aeroplan points

$120 annual fee

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Air France KLM Flying Blue has access to economy and business class awards with Etihad Airways, through a partnership that launched in November 2023.

A one-way flight in either direction costs 43,500 miles plus $163.71 in taxes and fees in economy, or 86,000 miles plus $385.46 in taxes and fees in business class.

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Flying Blue miles are slightly harder to come by in Canada, with your options being to earn directly on the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®, or 1:0.75 transfers from American Express Membership Rewards.

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75,000 MR points

$199 annual fee

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Up to 77,000 MR points

$99 annual fee

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100,000 MR points

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100,000 MR points $1,361

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15,000 MR points

$156 annual fee

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American Airlines AAdvantage has access to economy and premium cabin awards, including Etihad Airways First Class. The catch is that premium cabins are only available to book within one month or so of departure.

One-way flight costs 40,000 miles plus $55.64 in taxes and fees for economy, or 70,000 miles plus $55.64 in taxes and fees for business class. Note that First Class isn’t available on this route.

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RBC Avion is the only Canadian transfer partner for American Airlines AAdvantage, which comes at a 1:0.7 transfer rate. Previously, there have been a few rare transfer bonuses, but not for the past few years.

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Alternatively, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a rate of 3:1, or access the program through US-issued credit cards.

Conclusion

Etihad Airways has announced two exciting changes this fall, bringing more flights to Boston and launching the Airbus A350-1000 to Toronto.

This is exciting news for passengers, as the airline currently uses its outdated Boeing 777-300ER plane for the Toronto route.

Going forward, you’ll be able to fly in Etihad’s best business class product to Abu Dhabi and beyond, and fortunately, it’s relatively easy to access with miles and points.





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