Etihad's new Airbus A380 first class suites

By David Flynn, May 4 2014

Etihad Airways' new Airbus A380 first class suites will feature a stunning extra-large private VIP suite dubbed The Residence, along with nine First Apartments, in an extraordinary 'reimagining' of luxury air travel.

Etihad's Airbus A380 First Class: The Residence

The Residence is a three-room private VIP cabin with its own dedicated Savoy Hotel-trained butler as well as a lounge room, two dining tables and a double bed, along with a private shower suite with a four minute run time.

The Residence
The Residence

Measuring an unparalleled 125 square feet in total area, The Residence will be located on the forward upper deck of the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A380s and will be available for single or double occupancy.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The Residence will set Etihad Airways apart from the rest of the industry and allow us to provide the complete range of world-class products and services to cater for the individual tastes of every VIP traveller.

The first of its kind for the superjumbo, Etihad raises the bar in tough competition for well-heeled travellers.

The Residence – Bathroom
The Residence – Bathroom

A door and passageway separate the living room from the master bedroom and the ensuite shower room. The bedroom features a Poltrona Frau upholstered 82 inch long double bed with custom-made mattress, bedside unit, wardrobe, and under-bed stowage for hand luggage.

The living room features a large 32 inch LCD TV, whilst the bedroom boasts its own 27 inch LCD TV.

The communications suite features broadband with internet mobile and data capability, Live TV, HDMI, AC outlet and USB ports.

The Residence is fully Wi-Fi enabled and equipped with the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, controlled by video touch screen and handset.

Etihad's Airbus A380 First Class: The Apartments

Benefitting from the A380’s size, each First Apartment has a total area of 39 square feet, offering 74 per cent more space than Etihad Airways’ existing First Class suite.

The First Class aisle on Etihad's A380s
The First Class aisle on Etihad's A380s

Inside, there's a 30.3 inch reclining lounge chair and separate full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide fully flat bed.

Adding to the home design touches, the First Apartment includes a chilled mini-bar, personal wardrobe and a separate vanity unit with lit make-up mirrors and stocked with luxury branded amenities.

Vanity
Vanity

Taking design cues from the best boutique hotels, the First Apartments across the cabin have three separate but complementary colour palettes - chocolate, cashmere and coffee – each with its own accent colour.

The fully-flat bed in the First Apartment
The fully-flat bed in the First Apartment

First Class Chefs will provide a five-star restaurant-style service in the sky, with guests able to request dishes prepared to their personal tastes and preferences.

First Class washroom
First Class washroom

First Apartment guests have an exclusive shower room, and six apartments have connecting doors for passengers travelling together.

If for some reason you want to leave that plush suite, you can head to The Lobby bar.

The Lobby
The Lobby

Located between the First and Business Class cabins, The Lobby features a lounge and bar area with leather sofas, marquetry table, and large-screen television.

The Lobby
The Lobby

The Residence and First Class Apartments will debut on Etihad's Airbus A380 superjumbo, which begins flights to London in December this year and will also fly to Sydney from the middle of 2015.

Also read:

Australian Business Traveller is visiting Abu Dhabi as a guest of Etihad Airways.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 130

Never thought I'd say it about Etihad, but wow...just; wow *lifts jaw off ground*

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 52

Going by the computer renders, this is a beautifully styled cabin. A little more subdued than the bling we see on Emirates, and more in line with the quality we are used to seeing from Singapore Airlines. I look forward to seeing the cabin configuration in plan view.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 182

I went to book the inagural AUH-LHR on 27 December (not kowing what to expect in terms of pricing), only to find 77k AED for 2 passengers (or same for 1). I check back in few minutes and the 'residence' is gone! All booked on the first 3 days. Damn. Can be booked using Etihad miles for 2.3mil. Not worth it for a 7 hr flight departing at 2:35AM.

Looking at the SYD-LHR fares, 39k AUD return pp (based on 2 passengers) or 63k AUD for 1. And for sure no 'Residence' on the SYD-AUH flights because the A380 won't be sent until mid next year.

This is is going to be interesting.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

Very impressive product. Cant see this being improved any time soon. Also cant see the hutch flying this product ever :-)

Virgin Australia - Platinum

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 46

It's great to see the bar being raised, rather than just matched.  And with style!

04 May 2014

Total posts 2

etihad.com

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 170

What a stunning looking product.  Hands down the best looking First Class product.

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

Light years ahead of the competition. This will devastate Emirates. Not only is there a shower facility, but also a virtually self serviced apartment. 

Im so impressed by what Etihad has created. Bravo! 

Looking forward to enjoying the A380 F product mid 2015 out of Sydney. Talk about spoiling the guests! 

The only problem now being I'll feel like I'm slumming it in the 777 First suite next month! :-) 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

EK no longer takes the prize I don't think.

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

The chiefs at EK must be very worried today. What EK offers is now akin to business class compared to EY. 

The only issue is Etihad will only have 2 of these beauties by early 2015 and 4 by mid 2015. EK has many A380s. 

However, EYs current First is still fantastic. 

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Hmmm, just now EK announced first class bedroom suites...this is going to be as intense as VA and QF.

05 May 2012

Total posts 29

Incredible - but the marketing team have some explaining to do - the bizarre, seemingly unscripted, shrieking Dannii Minogue is surely the opposite of the calm, sophisticated interior Etihad have created.

05 May 2014

Total posts 2

she's 5'2". marketing team know exactly what they are doing....

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

I don't want to say this, but only revenue passengers can pay for Residences Class (no reward seats), and it costs 83300 Australian dollars. This is ridiculously pricey, I wonder if a month rental fee in a real apartment costs this much! That said, it's a nice product, but...I daresay it's rather useless.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 285

They are going for the exclusivity angle here. There is only one of them available on each flight, and despite the astronomical price... I'm betting the Apartment is going to be booked solid. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jan 2014

Total posts 9

Where do you sit for take off and landing?

Absolutely love the new first class products.

Why would one choose another airline on such a long journey between Australia and London? EY has effectively given me the only choice when flying commercial between 2 points their A380's are going to be servicing.

I suspect the only downside is that there is only 1 'Residence' on the plane so It may be hard to book it. I am assuming it is going to cost the same for 1 pax as it would for 2? It still makes it a heck of a lot more affordable than Netjets between LHR and SYD/MEL/AKL.

I can not wait to fly in this plane once it becomes available.

.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

There's an entire wrap-around on today's Financial Review advertising this thing (to the half dozen people in the country who can afford it, I guess?)

I realise that there is *a* market for this, and that if you're a super-rich individual then this is far more comfortable and still cheaper than a Gulfstream or whatever. Still, are you going to find exactly one ultra-rich guy who wants to book out the suite for every single A380 flight? It just seems like a scheduling problem. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 73

But where is the tennis court?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

Cant begin to wait to see when they release fares for appartments.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 117

Congratulations to Etihad. Every once in a while someone comes along with a *game-changer* and raises the bar. This will inevitably force the competition (Emirates, Singapore et al) to follow soon enough. 

VA

17 Dec 2013

Total posts 51

Congrats to Etihad for a dazzler of a product although I suspect I'll have to sell a child or a kidney before I ever get inside the Residence.

Small piece of marketing advice. Ditch Danni. She looks okay but when she opens her mouth and shrieks and squels she sounds like she should be flogging seats on Jetstar. Personally, if you want Danni's kind of look and a bit of class, get Kristen Scott Thomas on board. She's sexy and a little bit posh and sounds nice when she speaks.

05 May 2014

Total posts 2

hahaha... um they chose danni cos she is one of the smallest full grown people on the planet. 5'2".to make the "apartment" look bigger, they are TINY. look at how much leg room she has from her seat with the bed right up against it, none. her head (in flat shoes) reaches the top of the "walls", the average business teaveller walking past is atleast a foot taller and will be able to see straight in at whatever you are doing. don't be fooled by big promises and tiny danni! lol.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Uh...there shouldn't be a problem taking off your shoes and putting them on the bed. It's not going to affect safety, you're not going to be sleeping on the duvet anyway, and the bed itself is yours anyway.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

And that said, her head isn't really close to touching the top of the wall, and there's not much privacy destroyed by that wall anyway. That said, if it were fully, totally (including the top) enclosed then you wouldn't need a headset for the TV, but that would probably be asking for too much.

I've booked my first flight in The Residence from AUH-LHR. Came up on my card as $45,535AUD for 1 pax.

I've chosen EK from AKL-DXBand stay there overnight before heading to AUH to join the flight. I'm not making a special trip to the UK just to try out the plane, I was planning on being in Paris for NYE anyway.

Is is expensive? Well yes. However, I'm gaurenteed my own space and for me personally not needing to interact with other pax and a quiet place to watch a movie or have a sleep make this a good option.

If I enjoy it, I would expect my 8 - 12 trips between Australia and Europe per year to be a lot more appealing than the standard F offerings.

I'm looking forward to mid 2015 when I should be able to do the entire journey in The Residence.

27 Jul 2011

Total posts 42

Perfect timing for Singapore to consider their next Suites-or-above product ;)


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