I’ve flown Etihad several times. They have an outstanding first class — a stylish attractive first class suite with doors, and an onboard chef concept with plenty of food options that can be served on demand throughout the flight.
Service can be mixed, but the hard product is very good (although I prefer the spaciousness of Cathay Pacific’s first class seat by far).
Etihad has a new product entrant coming, though.
They’ll be bringing an A380 online December 27 with London service (EY flights 11/12), and will serve the Australia market with the aircraft in 2015.
And when they do they’re introducing a whole new onboard first class concept — with two different first class options.
Each A380 will feature “The Residence” — a single or double occupancy 3 room cabin with double bed, 2 dining tables, lounge room, private shower suite (4 minutes of water) and dedicated butler. The Residence is 125 square feet.
The living room in The Residence is furnished with a two-seat reclining sofa upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, dual marquetry dining tables and a chilled mini-bar.
A touchscreen control unit operates the retractable ottoman, the ambient and mood lighting, window shading, adjusts seat position and firmness, and activates the in-seat massage functions.
A door and passageway separate the living room from the master bedroom and the ensuite shower room. The bedroom features a Poltrona Frau upholstered 82 inch long double bed with custom-made mattress, bedside unit, wardrobe, and under-bed stowage for hand luggage.
The living room features a large 32 inch LCD TV, whilst the bedroom boasts its own 27 inch LCD TV. The communications suite features broadband with internet mobile and data capability, Live TV, HDMI, AC outlet and USB ports.
In addition, first class will have “Apartments” — which are 39 square feet, about 3/4ths more space than the current First Class suite (which, while attractive, I find the current suite to be quite narrow).
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.
…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 per cent 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
I have to imagine that American AAdvantage first class awards would book into the Apartments and not the Residence — if, of course, Etihad loads award space. Presently I’m not seeing first class awards on the Abu Dhabi – London flights serviced by the A380, although business awards are fairly common.
Separately, first class on their new 787s will allow center seats to be combined into a double bed.
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.