Etihad Airways has revealed a stunning range of new premium cabin products it will be installing on its new Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s when they enter service later this year.
Leading the way is a new ‘The Residence by Etihad’ product, just one of which will be offered on each of the airline’s A380s. The Residence offers a living room, double bedroom and separate ensuite bathroom for one or two passengers, as well as dedicated chef and butler service. The 11.6 sqm Residence is slightly less than half the size of an average 25 sqm hotel room, and will be located on the forward upper deck of the aircraft.
“The Residence will set Etihad Airways apart from the rest of the industry and allow us to provide the complete range of world-class products and services to cater for the individual tastes of every VIP traveller,” the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner said. “This is the culmination of five years of intensive effort and research into how Etihad Airways can provide an unparalleled VIP experience. Without doubt, we are ushering in a new era of luxury travel in commercial aviation.”
The Residence’s living room features a two-seat reclining sofa, dining tables and a chilled mini-bar. There is an 80cm LCD TV with the new Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, and a touchscreen control unit operates a retractable ottoman, mood lighting, window shading, and the seat functions. The bedroom has a 210cm long double bed, and its own 68cm LCD TV, while the entire suits is fully Wi-Fi enabled and offers broadband with internet mobile and data capability, Live TV, HDMI, an AC outlet and USB ports.
The airline will also offer a new First Apartments and First Suites product on the new aircraft. The First Apartment will be offered on the A380, and features a living space with a reclining lounge chair and ottoman which converts to a 202cm long fully-flat bed, a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe, and a separate vanity unit. The First Suite on the 787 will also have a minibar, and centre seats which can be joined to create a 202cm long double bed.
“Our new First Apartments and First Suites are major milestones for Etihad Airways and the global aviation industry as a whole, marking the dawn of an exciting new era in sophisticated, luxurious air travel,” said Baumgartner. “The final product is far superior to anything available in the market today and more akin to the offerings of the world’s top five-star hotels.”
The A380s will feature nine First Apartments on the upper deck of the aircraft, six of which have connecting doors to create apartments, while the 787s will have eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Also to debut on the new aircraft will be a new Business Studio product, 70 of which will be offered on the A380’s upper deck, and 28 on the 787. All Business Studios will be arranged in a 1-2-1 ‘dovetail’ configuration giving all an aisle access, and will feature a 55cm wide seat and an ottoman which convert to a 202cm long fully flat bed.
“We have been developing the Business Studio over the past five years, with a firm commitment to provide the highest levels of innovation, style, and comfort in business class travel,” said Baumgartner. “We’re confident this new product will meet the diverse needs and highest expectations of today’s business traveller.”
On the A380, First and Business class passengers will have the use of The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar area located between the two premium cabins which has semi-circular leather sofas, a marquetry table and a large TV screen.
Rounding out the new products is a new Economy ‘Smart Seat’ which the airline says will provide enhanced comfort and entertainment. The new seat features a ‘fixed wing’ headrest, a six inch recline, adjustable lumbar support, and a 28cm TV monitor with noise-cancelling headsets.
The 787 economy seat is 17.2 inches wide and has a 31 to 33in pitch for a total of 199 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. The A380 seat is slightly wider at 18.5in wide, and is laid out in a 3-4-3 configuration for 417 seats.
The first A380 will enter service in December on the Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow route, and by the end of 2015, the airline will have five A380s in service operating on routes to Sydney and New York JFK. The airline has 10 A380s on order for delivery by the end of 2017.
The first 787 will also enter service in December, and will initially operate on services to Washington DC, Dusseldorf and Mumbai. A total of 71 787s are on order for Etihad, comprising 41 787-9s and 30 stretched 787-10s.