Etihad Airways obviously had a clear agenda when redesigning the cabins on its Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets — come up with a product so outlandishly luxurious that the world’s jet setters are left with no question as to who’s leading the inflight glitz game.
Case in point: on Etihad, travelers will soon be able to fly commercially in their own private residence with access to a Savoy Academy-trained butler, gourmet chef and concierge.
Unveiled at a weekend launch to introduce Etihad’s redesigned/renamed A380 and B787 cabins, “The Residence by Etihad” — available only on the airline’s A380 jets — is a three-room VIP suite with its own living room, double bedroom and ensuite shower.
Etihad says the space will sit in the upper-deck cabin and be available for single or double occupancy.
One rung down on the luxury ladder, the upper deck of the new A380s — the first of which is due for delivery in December — will also offer nine new First Apartments, which are private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed.
Each “apartment” will have its own 64-inch sliding door, minibar, personal vanity unit, wardrobe and swiveling TV monitor for viewing from either the seat or the bed.
On the airline’s new Dreamliners, the first of which is due for delivery in October, Etihad will offer First Suites, each with a large seat and ottoman, which converts into an 80.5 inch-long bed.
Once reserved for private jets, The Residence has its own double bed. MORE: Gulf airlines shake up aviation alliances
On center seats, armrests retract and the suites can be joined to create a “double” bed. Other features include a minibar and a 24-inch TV monitor.
Service at ‘highest level yet in commercial aviation’
On both the A380 and the B787, Etihad Airways will offer new Business Studios, which it says provide 20% more personal space than its current business-class seat.
All seats have aisle access and convert into a fully flat 80.5-inch bed.
Special prayer areas for Muslim passengers will be offered on both aircraft.
Etihad says prayer areas can be curtained off for privacy and are equipped with a real-time electronic Qibla-finder showing the exact direction of Mecca based on the aircraft’s geographical position.
On the Airbus A380, all first- and business-class passengers will have access to The Lobby, a serviced lounge located between the two classes of cabins.
With the launch of these new aircraft, Etihad Airways says it will update dining equipment, amenities and soft furnishings across its entire fleet.
No word yet on how much tickets will cost.
“These new living spaces will raise inflight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travelers’ expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, in a statement.
The cabins are the work of the Etihad Design Consortium, which is made up of three design companies — Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding.
Etihad says it held consumer research and workshops in Abu Dhabi, Sydney, London and New York to determine what makes a “perfect flight” and asked consumers for their feedback, which was used to design the new products.
Your move, Emirates.