6 May 2014 by Alex Stewart
New Etihad aircraft to be like a hotel in the sky
Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways has announced an intention to launch a three-room suite on the forward upper deck of its latest A380 aircraft as part of its revamped First Class product; this will be the only three-room suite in the sky.
The revolutionary 'Residence' will mirror a boutique hotel experience, with passengers to be treated as guests entering a hotel. The suite will measure 125 square feet and will feature a living room, double bedroom and en-suite shower facilities. It will also come with a dedicated Savoy-trained butler.
The suite will be available to book for single or double occupancy.
In addition to the Residence, Etihad will also have nine First class apartments on the Upper Deck, which will boast separate reclining lounge seats, full-length beds, a mini-bar and wardrobe. Passengers will have access to a changing room and shower. Six of these will be sold as doubles.
First class will be divided from Business Class on the upper deck by a lounge area or lobby; the A380 will have 70 Business Class studios.
Etihad President and CEO James Hogan has stated that, 'These new living spaces will raise inflight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travellers' expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever.'
Etihad has 10 A380s on order, with the first expected to be in service this winter on the London to Abu Dhabi route. A second will go into service on the same route in the first quarter of 2015, with further aircraft introduced on routes to Sydney and New York JFK.