Etihad Airways redefines first class with new A380 First Apartments and B787 First Suites
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will set a new industry standard with the launch of its new First Apartments and First Suites.
First Class guests flying on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner will enjoy a luxurious travel experience in an all-encompassing private space that allows them to relax, be entertained, dine, socialise, and work.
The ground-breaking First Apartment will feature on the airline’s A380 fleet and 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. 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, “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.”
The launch is the culmination of five years of research, design and implementation, but the hard work has paid off. 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.
Benefitting from the A380’s size, each First Apartment has a total area of 39 square feet, offering 74% more space than Etihad Airways’ existing First Class suite. 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 lounge chair and ottoman are upholstered by Poltrona Frau, the prestigious suppliers of Ferrari interiors.
Adding to the home design touches, the First Apartment includes a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe, and a separate vanity unit with lit make-up mirrors and stocked with luxury branded amenities. Taking design cues from the best boutique hotels, the First Apartments across the cabin have three separate but complementary colour palettes – chocolate, cashmere and coffee – each with its own accent colour. First Apartment guests have an exclusive shower room. The Lobby is located between the First and Business Class cabins, featuring a lounge and bar area with leather sofas, marquetry table, and large-screen television.
The Etihad Airways B787 will feature eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. A key design feature of the B787 First Class cabin is the industry’s first curved aisle and suite wall which creates a unique and visually compelling environment. 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, Poltrona Frau leather upholstery, and three different colour schemes. 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. The First Apartment and First Suite have been produced by United States-based B/E Aerospace, which also produced the airline’s current First Class seats on the A330 and A340, and B777 aircraft.
Amin J. Khoury, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of B/E Aerospace, said, “We are pleased to have jointly developed customised suites for Etihad Airways’ First Class passengers. The new First Class seats are outfitted with luxurious amenities, extraordinary comfort and personal space designed to enhance the passenger experience.”
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 guests to maximise their entertainment, so they can play games or view the moving 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.
Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We share Etihad Airways’ vision of offering the very best guest experience in the skies, and are delighted to partner on their next-generation inflight entertainment system. With the industry’s highest performance and brilliant high-definition displays, connectivity to the seatback and to passenger devices, higher levels of personalisation, second screen content, and much more, passengers will enjoy a truly unique inflight experience on board Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art aircraft.”
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