The vision of Etihad as a premium global carrier, with stakes in airlines around the world feeding traffic through Abu Dhabi and building the UAE capital as a global transit hub, has largely been dismantled after years of significant losses followed by the pandemic.
Gone or on the way out are Boeing 777-300ERs, 777-200LRs, and Airbus A330s. Gone as well the Airbus A380s featuring one of the world’s best first class products. Their long haul fleet instead will consist of Boeing 787s, 777-9s (when those are eventually ready), and Airbus A350s. Only a subset of Boeing 787s will even offer a first class cabin.
Etihad has finally revealed their Airbus A350 with new business class – or at least photos have been shared, rather than the airline officially releasing them. It’s nice, but not revolutionary. They’ve taken the Collins Aerospace (née B/E Aerospace) Super Diamond seat found on carriers like American Airlines and added a door, similar to British Airways for its new Club Suite.
Etihad presents its A350-1000 cabins at the Dubai Air Show 2021
5x A35Ks were delivered in 2019 and 2020 and have since been stored
Collins Super Diamond for Business class; similar to BA Club Suite and Aeroflot 77W
— Incompressible Flow (@incompressflow) November 14, 2021
They’ve paid attention to details, in an Etihad style, with brown leather seats and a reading lamp. This will be a ‘nice enough’ business class, though certainly not world-leading. And one I’d be happy to fly using American AAdvantage miles for as long as that remains an option or transferring points directly to Etihad from Amex, Citi, and Capital One.
(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)