Flying Abu Dhabi to London this summer? Check your flight time as Etihad is making changes

The UAE's national airline is the latest to adjust flight schedules for Heathrow in an effort to 'relieve pressure at the airport'

Etihad is among several airlines making changes after travel chaos and a request from Heathrow Airport authorities to cap passenger numbers. Photo: Etihad
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Travellers going between Abu Dhabi and London this summer might want to double-check their flight details.

That’s because the national airline of the UAE has adjusted departure times on several flights to and from London Heathrow.

Etihad Airways said it is making the temporary changes “to relieve pressure at the airport while minimising the impact to our guests”.

Holidaymakers and business travellers flying between Europe’s busiest airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport on flights EY25 and EY26 will be affected by the changes and should take note of new departure times.

Scroll through the gallery below to see scenes from London Heathrow as travel chaos ensues

The new schedule will be in place from this Wednesday until Sunday, September 11, with flights allocated earlier departure times.

Travellers flying from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi on flight EY26 will face the biggest changes. These flights will now depart Heathrow's Terminal 4 almost five hours before they were originally intended.

During this temporary period, flight EY26 will move from an evening flight to an afternoon departure at Heathrow. Flights will depart at 3.55pm instead of the original departure time of 8.45pm. On September 11, the same flight will depart 10 minutes earlier, at 3.45pm.

This change will increase transit times in the UAE for connecting passengers. Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi with a longer connection than originally planned owing to these adjustments will be able to show their boarding pass to Etihad staff to receive a meal voucher for dining at the airport.

Etihad travellers flying from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi with longer connections because of schedule adjustments can avail of a free meal at the airport. Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports

In the opposite direction, schedule adjustments are less drastic, but travellers still need to prepare to arrive at the airport earlier.

Flight EY25 to London will depart Abu Dhabi at 8.50am, instead of the original departure time of 10.40am on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, the same flight number will take off almost one-and-a-half hours earlier than originally scheduled, with a 9.15am departure time, compared to the previous scheduled time of 10.40am. Saturday flights on this route depart at a similar time of 9.25am during the temporary period of adjustment.

An Emirates jet on approach to Heathrow Airport. The Dubai airline is adding more flights to London Gatwick following passenger caps at Europe's busiest airport. AFP

The Abu Dhabi airline is one of several making changes to its flight schedule following travel chaos at Heathrow and a request from airport authorities to cap passenger numbers.

Etihad previously confirmed it would continue to operate five daily return flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow in July, despite requests from Heathrow officials for operators to cut capacity to ease congestion.

On Friday, Emirates said it would be adding more flights from Dubai to London’s Gatwick to help passengers affected by passenger caps imposed at Heathrow.

The airline has agreed to stop selling tickets on flights until mid-August and said it will also make “capacity adjustments” on London Heathrow flights to “help ease operational pressures at the airport”.

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Updated: July 25, 2022, 8:25 AM