5 May 2014

Etihad redesigns new aircraft for boutique hotel experience in the air

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has completely re-imagined what plane travel will look like in first, business and economy classes onboard the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to be delivered later this year.

Five years in the making, the airline's design vision is 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 region with contemporary design.

First Apartments

The First Apartment on the airline’s A380 fleet will offer a complete living space with a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman which converts to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed.
Each First Apartment has a total area of 39 square feet, 74% more space than Etihad Airways’ existing First Class suite. 

The First Suite on the Etihad Airways B787 offers guests an enhanced suite with chilled mini-bar, complete privacy and centre seats which can be joined to create a double bed.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “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, as guests onboard our A380 and B787 will soon discover."

Nine First Apartments will be located in the upper deck of Etihad Airways’ A380s, six of which have ‘connecting doors’ that allow them to create apartments for guests travelling together. Configured along a single aisle, a first for the industry, Etihad Airways’ First Apartments include a 30.3 inch reclining lounge chair and separate full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide fully flat bed. 

The First Apartment also includes a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe, and a separate vanity unit with lit make-up mirrors and stocked with luxury branded amenities, as well as a shower room. 

The Etihad Airways B787 will feature eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. The B787 First Suite boasts a 26 inch wide Poltrona Frau seat that converts to a comfortable 80.5-inch long fully-flat bed.

Like the First Apartments on the A380, the First Suites on the B787 will also offer a chilled mini-bar and Poltrona Frau leather upholstery. 

First Class Chefs will provide a five-star restaurant-style service in the sky, with guests able to request dishes prepared to their personal tastes and preferences.

Click here and here to view video of the new first class cabins. 
Business Studio

The airline will debut its new Business Studio onboard its Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, offering a standard of luxury associated with the industry’s first class travel.

A total of 70 Business Studios will be located on the upper deck of the A380, while the B787 will have 28 Business Studios, all offering aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.

“We’re confident this new product will meet the diverse needs and highest expectations of today’s business traveller who will experience the Business Studio onboard our new A380 and B787,” said Baumgartner.

The Business Studios, which are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving direct aisle access to all passengers, are also the airline’s first dovetail (forward and aft) layout, allowing optimal use of cabin space. The suite has a 22 inch wide seat and separate ottoman, which together create a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.

The centre Business Studios, while ideal for those travelling together, also offer full privacy for passengers traveling alone with full-height screens between the suites. Generous storage is also available inside the Business Studio, including room underneath the ottoman for carry-on items and shoes, as well as a large top-loading cupboard for water bottles, head-sets, literature and other items. Each Studio also features an ample side-furniture surface convenient for resting laptops, tablets and books. A number of different lighting options provide flexibility, including a side lamp, a reading light, and mood lighting.

The A380 will have Etihad Airways’ full mobile and Wi-Fly connectivity, while the B787 is equipped with Wi-Fly.

The Lobby for First and Business

Source: Etihad. The Lobby.

On the A380, First and Business Class guests will be able to relax in The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar area located between the First and Business cabins.
With semi-circular leather sofas, a marquetry table and a large TV screen, The Lobby is designed for relaxing and socialising.

The Lobby TV has a HDMI connection so it can be used for sharing content or it can also be set to the airline’s Live TV channels for sporting and other events.

Click here and here to view video of the new Business cabins. 
Economy Smart Seat

In the economy class the airline will debut its new Economy Smart Seat, which is customised with a ‘fixed wing’ headrest which offers greater comfort and relaxation to guests. Upholstered in locally-sourced camel leather, the fixed wing headrest is designed to provide a firm surface for guests to rest their heads, as well as additional privacy between seats.

Baumgartner said: “Etihad Airways has always understood the importance of providing a travel experience that cannot be matched by others, and we have spent the past five years creating an Economy Class product that will be favoured by millions around the world.”

Etihad Airways is introducing Panasonic's most advanced eX3 in-flight 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 touchscreen handsets that offer a second screen for passengers so they can view additional content while watching a movie. Noise cancelling headsets are provided across all cabins.

Across the entire fleet, Etihad Airways will continue to offer a choice of three main courses in economy class, as well as a café service with hot chocolate and cappuccino.

Click here and here to view video of the new economy class cabins.