Etihad news

Etihad overlooks credit crunch to launch new first class cabin

Etihad Airways has used the Arabian Travel market (ATMto unveil 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 Dhs257 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-inch 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 people.

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."

"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," Hogan said.

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.

First and 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 and Six Senses Spa treatments.

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