Etihad Airways plans to usher in 2023 with inflight celebrations to celebrate the New Year as the clock strikes midnight on 31st December.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline is one of only a very few carriers to officially celebrate New Years’ Eve, and an Etihad spokesperson says the airline plans to go all out to help its passengers celebrate the moment.
As well as giving out customised New Years’ Eve props like themed hats and glasses, Etihad says its plans to pop Champagne corks in the moments before the final countdown. There will even be celebratory giveaways for some lucky passengers.
Presumably, Etihad plans to celebrate the New Year as the clock strikes midnight in Abu Dhabi, which is Gulf Standard Time (four hours ahead of GMT) – which could prove confusing for passengers on some flights departing destinations where 2023 has already been ushered or is still hours away from being welcomed.
In any case, Etihad offers Live TV on many of its long-haul aircraft, meaning that passengers will be able to watch celebrations in real time as they happen around the world.
This is the first year that Etihad has decided to officially celebrate New Years’ Eve in the air and, perhaps surprisingly, it is one of only a handful of airlines that do anything to mark the start of a new year.
In fact, many flights that depart on New Years’ Eve can be pretty quiet affairs and there’s not a huge appetite from passengers to get into the party spirit. That being said, some airlines do allow their pilots and cabin crew to organise impromptu onboard celebrations.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.