Etihad Airways' flagship Airbus A380 will begin daily flights to Melbourne from June 1st, 2016, bringing with it the world's best first class experience as well as the world's most expensive commercial jet ticket.
The former is Etihad's First Class suites, which have been christened as Apartments – and it's not hard to see why.
Each Apartment has a total area of 3.6 square metres (39 square feet) and is finished in Poltrona Frau leather.
And while other first class seats generally follow the convention of converting into a flat bed, either by laying the seat down or flipping it over, Etihad's primo cabin has a seperate seat and bed.
And the seat's not just a seat: it's more of a reclining leather-clad lounge chair.
Across from this is a full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide bed.
A handful of the nine suites have connecting doors so that passengers travelling together can share the experience.
Each suite also has a 24-inch flat screen TV, its own chilled mini-bar, a personal wardrobe and a vanity cabint with lit make-up mirrors, stocked with luxury branded amenities.
Passengers in the nine Apartments also have access to a single shower suite.
But if you're after the ultimate in sky-high luxe, keep walking past those one-room suites towards The Residence – a three-room VIP supersuite with its own living room...
... bathroom/shower suite...
... and bedroom.
Oh, and did we mention your personal Savoy-trained butler?
This is truly a slice of Downton Abbey at 40,000 feet.
A return trip from Melbourne to London in this 'penthouse in the sky' will set you back some $80,000.
Most Australian Business Traveller readers will of course be resting up in Etihad's business class, with 70 comfortable and well-appointed Business Studio pods stretched along the remainder of the superjumbo's top deck.
The 1-2-1 layout affords each passenger direct access to the aisle, and of course each seat converts into a long and fully-fled bed.
Located between the first and business cabins, and available to passengers from both those premium classes, is The Lobby.
This social area features a lounge and bar with leather sofas, marquetry table and large-screen television.
Etihad's swish superjumbo will run on flights EY460/461, one of the airline’s two daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi services, replacing the currently scheduled Boeing 777-300ER.
The ex-Melbourne flight EY461 is wheels up at 10.40pm to arrive into Abu Dhabi at 6.45am the following day, with a raft of onwards connections – several featuring Etihad's new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 – into the UK and Europe.
An all-new Etihad Airways lounge, similar to its Sydney sibling (shown below), is also expected to open its doors in the first quarter of 2016.
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