Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is enhancing its
luxury air travel experience for premium passengers with its new
first class cabin suite.
The new first class cabin contains 12 individual
suites, which have been designed to provide first class customers
with more privacy, greater comfort and increased storage.
The highlight of the US$70 million (Dh 257 million) first
class revamp is an extra-large seat that extends to a fully-flat
bed, 80.5 inches in length, which is equipped with built-in
massager, lumbar support and adjustable headrest, as well as power
sockets for a laptop, iPod and other electronic devices.
Each private suite is accessed by its own sliding door and
includes a personal wardrobe and mini bar, as well as 23"
wide-screen LCD screen which features more than 600 hours of ‘on
demand’ entertainment. Spacious stowage compartments are built
into and around the seat.
Meals are served on an
extra large wood finished table. Furthermore, a middle seat
divider can be lowered to allow a dining space for up to four
The first class cabin also features a large
and luxurious changing room with a full length mirror, new style
wash basin and leather fold-down seat to allow passengers to
freshen up and change after take-off and prior to landing.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said,
“Competition for premium customers remains intense and during the
last 12 months a number of airlines have unveiled significant
enhancements to their first class cabins, with others deciding to
remove the cabin completely from their aircraft.
downturn is exactly the time when an airline needs to demonstrate
its commitment to the very highest standards of service
excellence. The economic turbulence that the aviation industry is
currently experiencing will give way to calmer times, and when it
does our investment and product innovation will ensure that we
have not simply remained competitive, but that we are the market
“With this in mind, we feel the time is
right for us to raise the bar and we believe that our new first
class cabin, together with the enhancements we have already made
to our first class service, re-establishes our position as market
leader in terms of luxury air travel.”
The new first class cabin has been developed following
extensive global customer research, including input from many of
Etihad’s most frequent flyers.
The cabin interior
was created by craftsmen from some of the world’s top designers,
including luxury leather upholstered by world-renowned Poltrona
Frau, which also provides interiors for Ferrari cars. The new-look
first class also includes new luxurious soft furnishings and
designer amenity kits.
Key features of the new
first class cabin include:
- 82 inch long private
suite with a 80.5 inches fully flat bed, with bed width of 29.75
- Each suite with Arabic styled sliding privacy doors
* 23 inch personal TV/video screen, with in-flight entertainment
system that allows customers to pause, stop, fast-forward or
rewind up to 600 hours of films, TV and radio programmes, and play
- Personal mini bar
- Illuminated wardrobe with a
- In-seat massager, lumbar support and
- Spacious compartment areas where
customers can stow their belongings
- Poltrona Frau leather
- Extra large (24 inches by 25 inches) wood
finished meal table
- In-seat power sockets for PCs, iPod
connector, USB ports, Ethernet port and audio jack
changing room with full length mirror, raised wash basin and
leather fold-down seat
- Luxurious soft furnishings and
designer amenity kits
business class customers can dine on demand anytime from an a la
carte fine dining menu or opt for kitchen style snacks.
On the ground, first and business class customers flying
from Etihad Airways’ home base at Abu Dhabi airport can take
advantage of a dedicated concierge service, which ensures that
their complimentary limousine service is met kerb-side and they
are then escorted quickly inside to the airline’s dedicated
premium check-in zone.
The airline has also opened
dedicated first and business class lounges at both Terminal 1 and
Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi airport, where customers can enjoy a range
of services including all-day fine dining, boardroom–style meeting
facilities, Six Senses Spa treatments, a champagne bar and even a
Etihad is also upgrading its business
and economy class cabins, including improvements to the seats and
the on-demand in-flight entertainment system.
The first aircraft with the new
first class cabin – a brand new Airbus A340-600 – is due to enter
service at the end of August 2009. The full roll-out of the new
first class suites in the airline’s fleet is expected to be
completed by the end of 2010.
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