Etihad’s new First/Business products on A380 & 787s

Etihad has been silent for the longest time on a cabin refresh, and yesterday, they shared details of what could be the most luxurious products in the air. Stay with me, they are creating, Apartments and full Residences in the air. Also Studios.

The Suites class product is a few year old, and Etihad has a fully enclosed suites as well on its aircraft, along with Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Jet Airways amongst others. So, they took this opportunity to have new aircraft to do something new altogether. Since 2008, Etihad worked with 3 different companies, no less, to design the new experience and product for their upcoming planes.

The Residence, which will be single or double occupancy, is targeted at the private jet customers. From the media release:

Each Etihad Airways A380 will offer a boutique version of The Residence with different color palettes, table marquetry and custom carpets.

Guests in The Residence will have the services of a personal Butler throughout their flight.

Here is a video of the product:

Not just that, Etihad will launch Apartments class on their A380s. Nine First Apartments will be installed on the upper deck in a 1-1 configuration. Each First Apartment will include a reclining armchair and a full-length ottoman. The ottoman transforms into a separate 80 inch long fully flatbed. There will also be the frills, including a a chilled mini-bar and a swiveling TV monitor for viewing from either the seat or the bed. This product will be 74% larger than the airline’s current award-winning First Class Suites, reviewed here. And yes, you can have interconnected apartments if you are flying together.

Here is a video of the product

Not to be left behind Emirates, a fully equipped shower room will be on the A380 for exclusive use by First Class guests.

On the Boeing 787’s, which is a narrower product than the A380, the airline will fly with a 1-2-1 configuration of First Class Suites, with the capability to create a double bed on the double seat in the midst. Here is how it would look

The Business Class studios, which took five years to develop, will be all-aisle access products, in a 1-2-1 layout on both plane types. All business class seats would offer an 80.5 inch flatbed, and if you’re travelling as a couple, you could remove the privacy screen in the middle.  Although I can’t make out the studios from other business class products and maybe this is just a branding move, but here are cabin videos for you on the A380 and 787

Etihad will position the A380s on the London Heathrow route first in December 2014 and add another plane to serve the same route in Q1 2015. Later, they will add more such planes and through 2015 intend to fly their A380s to New York JFK as well as Sydney. Each aircraft is designed to carry 498 guests, including 2 guests in The Residence by Etihad™, 9 guests in the innovative First Class Apartments, 70 guests in the new Business Class Studios (on the upper deck), and 417 guests in Economy Class.

Etihad’s 787 product will perhaps be the first product to have a First Class product in the aircraft type as well. There will be 8 F suites, 28 J studios and 199 Economy class seats in this product.

Etihad’s first B787-900 will be introduced into service in December 2014 and will head to Dusseldorf. Next two planes will be deployed to service Mumbai and Washington DC in January 2015.

Thank you Etihad. You just upped the game to a whole new level.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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