Last week I flew from Sydney to Paris via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airlines and was lucky enough to be upgraded to business class, which was very impressive.
I've also travelled several times with Etihad in economy and also enjoyed.
What is surprising is that new "early bird" fares launched this week make the highly-rated United Arab Emirates flag carrier one of the more affordable options for travelling between Australia and Europe.
Etihad Airways has just released its fares for travel to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and USA in 2016 and the current sale prices start from under $1600 return to Europe including all taxes. The bad news: they are only on sale until October 31.
Return economy class deals include: Brisbane to Amsterdam from $1619, Dublin from $1567, London from $1791, Paris from $1630, Rome from $1604 and Nairobi from $2012.
Melbourne to Abu Dhabi from $1881, Istanbul from $1548, London $1773, Rome from $1559 and Zurich from $1580.
Perth to Dublin from $1472, Edinburgh from $1635, Los Angeles from $1311, Madrid from $1494, New York from $1311 and Rome from $1510.
Sydney to Cairo from $1908, Dublin from 1561, London from $1787, Manchester from $1721, Paris from $1626 and Rome from $1600.
Economy class fares include all meals and beverages; 750-plus hours of inflight entertainment; comfort pack including a blanket and pillow; and 23kg checked luggage.
Return business class fares range from $6272 from Perth to Dublin to Sydney to London from $7722.
Business class guests are offered fully flat beds, all with direct aisle access, premium lounge access (and the lounges are outstanding), flexible ‘any time’ dining with impressive global wine pairings and limousine transfers at selected destinations.
Partner airline Virgin Australia offers convenient connections to Etihad Airways’ four gateway cities – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – from more than 40 towns and cities across Australia.
For full details and to book, contact a travel agent or visit www.etihad.com/au