May 5, 2014 4:01 pm

Airline unveils luxury, on-board apartments for first-class travellers

Courtesy of Etihad Airways

CALGARY- An airline in the Middle East is raising the bar when it comes to luxury, first-class travel.

Etihad Airways has unveiled private suites and apartments on some of its new jets, in an effort to lure well-heeled passengers away from private jets.

The ‘First Apartments’ on the A380 fleet feature their own living rooms, and a reclining lounge chair/ottoman which converts into a fully flat bed. Each guest will have their own shower and use of the lobby which hosts a large screen TV, lounge, bar area and leather sofas.

Nine First Apartments will be installed on each plane, and six of them have connecting doors which will benefit groups travelling together.

“The final product is far superior to anything available in the market today, and more akin to the offerings of the world’s top five-star hotels,” said Peter Baumgartner, CCO of Etihad Airways, in a statement.

Indeed, the apartments are similar to luxe hotels, offering design touches like a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe, luxury amenities and a vanity with make-up mirrors.

Each apartment is 39 square feet—substantially much more than the average 31 inches granted to economy passengers on many airlines.

Etihad Airways also unveiled its ‘First Suites’ which will be on B787 planes. They also boast mini-bars, along with seats that can be joined to create an 80.5 inch double bed.

First Suite

Courtesy of Etihad Airways

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Baumgartner says their offerings set a new standard.

“Our new First Apartments and First Suites are major milestones for Etihad Airways and the global aviation industry as a whole, marking the dawn of an exciting new era in sophisticated, luxurious air travel.”

Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, which has long been famous for raising the bar. The country’s other airline, Emirates, launched an in-flight shower spa to help first-class passengers refresh during long trips, and also has lounges on upper decks with hors d’oeuvres and a full bar. Their private suites—while smaller than Etihad’s new offering—can also be closed off, and come with a mini-bar and flat-bed seats.

One-way flights in the First Apartments on Etihad Airways start at $21,000 per passenger.

 

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