Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal: Etihad’s Biggest-Ever Lounge Opens Soon
In a triumphant culmination of years of anticipation and setbacks, Etihad Airways is on the verge of unveiling its spectacular new flagship lounge at Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal. This highly anticipated facility is set to open its doors to travellers in mid-November, marking a significant milestone for both the airline and the airport.
Originally slated for opening in 2017 and then rescheduled to the end of 2019, the Midfield Terminal was on the brink of completion when the global pandemic struck, causing further delays. However, after a long wait, the terminal is now ready to welcome its first flights, with operations expected to commence by November 14. Additional festivities are also being planned for December 2, coinciding with UAE National Day.
Terminal A, as it will be known to passengers, promises a seamless transition for Etihad travellers, with arrivals and departures moving from Terminal 3 to this state-of-the-art facility. Alongside the terminal, the Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel at T1, which has been an integral part of the airport experience, will temporarily cease operations from November 14, with plans to reopen in Terminal A.
One of the highlights of the new Midfield Terminal is Etihad’s lavish premium lounge, designed to accommodate well over 1,000 travellers. This luxurious space includes a ‘first class’ wing with VIP rooms, specifically tailored to cater to passengers flying on the newly reintroduced Etihad A380s, which will operate three times daily between Abu Dhabi and London from early November.
The Midfield Terminal project, with an estimated cost of US$3 billion, was conceived in 2012 with grand ambitions of positioning Etihad Airways as a global powerhouse, akin to industry giants like Emirates and Qatar Airways. However, a series of challenges, including substantial losses and ill-fated investments, prompted a strategic reevaluation. Under the leadership of CEO Tony Douglas, Etihad embarked on a plan to ‘right-size’ the carrier, focusing on profitability and sustainable growth.
With the Midfield Terminal now ready to receive passengers, Etihad is poised for a period of expansion. The airline has already added 11 new destinations this year and boasts an upgraded fleet featuring Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s equipped with private business class suites. Additionally, the iconic A380 superjumbos have returned to the skies, marking a significant step forward in the airline’s rejuvenation.
Designed as a hub of luxury and efficiency, the Midfield Terminal spans an impressive 740,000 square meters and will feature a diverse range of shops, restaurants, cafes, a transit hotel, and eight airline lounges. With an estimated 30 million passengers passing through annually, the terminal’s innovative design, themed wings, and stunning illuminated interior are set to redefine the airport experience.
“Terminal A underscores our dedication to providing our international passengers and partners with a premium airport experience,” affirmed Elena Sorlini, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Airports. Notably, the terminal promises a swift and efficient experience for travellers, with a minimum connect time of just 45 minutes for those transferring between flights.
As the illuminated jewel of the desert, Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal stands as a testament to vision, perseverance, and the enduring spirit of progress. With its grand opening on the horizon, travellers can look forward to a new era of luxury, convenience, and world-class service at one of the Middle East’s most ambitious airport projects.