Etihad unveils new step change in cabin design
Etihad Airways has unveiled the world's most expensive firstclass offering which brings the luxury of a private jet to a commercial carrier
President and chief executive of the UAE airline James Hogan announced The Residence by Etihad, a three-room cabin for the airline's new A380 aircraft that will be delivered in December
The Residence will be the breath-taking and completely new forward upper-deck cabin on the A380. Accommodating single or double occupancy, it features a living room, separate double bedroom and ensuite shower room. Customers in The Residence will also have a personal butler.
Hogan said ticket prices for the Residence would be at a factor of three over normal first class priceing - suggesting $20,000 from Abu Dhabi to London.
"This is more like a private jet," Hoigan said, "And that could cost in excess of $100,000."
With the launch of these new fleets, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will also redefine and rename its cabin classes.
The A380 will feature revolutionary First Apartments, which are fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed, as well as a chilled mini-bar, personal vanity unit and wardrobe.
Etihad Airways has allocated the upper deck of the A380 to its premium cabins.
On the B787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite, adding many new features including a chilled mini-bar.
The Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat will feature on both the A380 and the B787.
Etihad Airways is introducing the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system across both fleets, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins.
The system has video touchscreen handsets, offering an additional screen for customers to maximise their entertainment, so they can play games or view a moving flight route map while watching a movie.
Noise cancelling headsets are provided across all cabins, with built-in magnetic audio jacks to ensure the best sound quality.
The A380 aircraft will have full mobile and Wi-Fi service while the B787 will be equipped with Wi-Fi.
The new cabins and service offering follow the airline’s pledge to transform air travel and make every customer journey a remarkable one.
Hogan said: “These new living spaces will raise inflight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travellers’ expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever.
“Etihad Airways’ A380 and B787 will deliver the most advanced airline cabins in the industry, while meeting all weight, range and cost targets at our desired seat count. This will allow us to offer products unparalleled in quality and style, yet at competitive prices across all three cabins.”
Believing that no single design agency could deliver its vision for the new cabins, Etihad Airways established in 2008 the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) which brought together three leading British design companies, Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding to develop innovative cabin and seat designs for the new fleets.
The EDC collaborated with Promise Communispace, a leading agency, to launch comprehensive consumer research and workshops in London, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, and New York, with the goal of understanding what makes a ‘perfect flight’ and asking consumers to help design the perfect airline.
Eighty per cent of the new product offering is a direct result of the feedback and information garnered from these workshops.
Etihad Airways’ design vision was to bring the individuality and exclusivity of a luxury boutique hotel experience to the sky in a way that embraced Arabian modernism, an aesthetic that combines the traditions of the Middle East with contemporary design.
Customers in The Residence will have the services of a personal butler throughout their flight. These fully trained service professionals will receive specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London.
Hogan said Etihad Airways will also redefine first class and set a new industry standard with the launch of the First Apartment on the A380.
Nine First Apartments will be installed on the upper deck in a 1-1 configuration to create the only single aisle first class cabin in the industry.
Each First Apartment, which has a 64 inch high sliding door, includes a reclining armchair and a full-length ottoman, both upholstered by the prestigious Italian suppliers of Ferrari’s interiors, Poltrona Frau. The ottoman transforms into a separate 80 inch long fully flatbed.
The First Apartment, which also includes features such as a chilled mini-bar, a personal vanity unit and a swivelling TV monitor for viewing from either the seat or the bed, has a 74 per cent larger footprint than the airline’s current award-winning first class suites.
A fully equipped shower room is available on the A380 for exclusive use by first class customers.
On the B787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite with many new features. The eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration along a curved aisle, another first in commercial aviation.
Each completely private First Suite has a large seat and ottoman, both upholstered by Poltrona Frau, which converts into an 80.5 inch long full-flat bed.
On the centre seats, the armrests retract and the suites can be joined to create a ‘double’ bed. Other features include a chilled mini-bar and a 24 inch TV monitor.
On both the A380 and the B787, Etihad Airways will launch its new Business Studios which provide 20 per cent more personal space than the airline’s current business class seat.
Configured 1-2-1 in a forward and aft ‘dovetail’, the Business Studios all have aisle access and the seat converts into a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.
With its privacy, ample storage and surface space, the Business Studio has been designed with the diverse needs of the premium business or leisure traveller firmly in mind.
On the Airbus A380, First and Business Class guests will be able to relax in The Lobby which is a serviced lounge and bar area located between the first and business cabins.
Providing a semi-circular leather sofa, a marquetry table and a large TV screen, The Lobby is designed for relaxing and socialising.
The TV has a USB connection so it can be used for sharing content or it can also be set to the airline’s live news and sport TV channels..
New Economy Smart Seat will offer an ergonomic fixed-wing headrest, to give customers a place to rest their head for added comfort and relaxation.
The seat also has a lumbar support feature, allowing customers to adjust their seat comfort, and an 11 inch personal monitor screen, with all the IFE peripherals conveniently set into the seatback in front.
The latest Panasonic eX3 personal entertainment system, of which Etihad Airways is a launch customer, is installed across all cabins
* To see more go to the video on http://www.etihad.com/en-gb/experience-etihad/flying-reimagined/the-residence/