En Suite first class lets any airline have an Etihad-style Residence

What's better than first class? 'Super first class', of course...

By David Flynn, July 30 2019
En Suite first class lets any airline have an Etihad-style Residence

Etihad’s three-room Residence suite on its Airbus A380 was a game-changer for first class travel and redefined notions of sky-high luxury on board a commercial jetliner. Despite the subsequent launch of new primo suites from Singapore Airlines and Emirates, the Residence remains unique.

But now it’s possible for any airline to offer a better-than-first class experience – and no superjumbo required.

En Suite carves a niche between first class suites and Etihad's Residence.
En Suite carves a niche between first class suites and Etihad's Residence.

The En Suite is a ‘super first’ concept from Factorydesign, which also lent its expertise to shaping Etihad’s A380 first class cabin.

In its default configuration, En Suite provides an oversized suite for two passengers travelling together.

With full-height walls, the spacious En Suite is a private retreat.
With full-height walls, the spacious En Suite is a private retreat.

A pair of wide armchair-style seats converts into a double bed, with full height walls turning this into a truly personal space for living, relaxing, dining and sleeping.

Suite dreams become sweet dreams in an extra-wide double bed.
Suite dreams become sweet dreams in an extra-wide double bed.

The En Suite’s luxury travel trump card, however, is the inclusion of a spacious private bathroom.

“Currently, with the exception of Etihad’s The Residence, even the most privileged premium class travellers are required to share a toilet,” Factorydesign posits. “Can you imagine that being acceptable in any Four Seasons or Shangri-La Hotel?”

However, for airlines which are a little less adventurous or who needs to sweat their Excel spreadsheet a little harder, Factorydesign can also split En Suite into a pair of self-contained first class suites.

The En Suite footprint can also be configured as two individual first class suites.
The En Suite footprint can also be configured as two individual first class suites.

Each has its own aisle entry and shared use of the bathroom – “creating a stunning experience for the passenger while, pragmatically, satisfying the airline’s commercial ambitions,” the firm says.

Even as a two-suite design, passengers can still use the private bathroom.
Even as a two-suite design, passengers can still use the private bathroom.

No airlines have yet signed up for the En Suite, but as business class continues to advance and crowd into the once-exclusive domain of first class, it’s not hard to imagine that this mini-Residence will soon take pride of place as the halo product on an Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X.

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 73

If Qantas are looking ... this is a game changer product. Appreciate for a non stop SYD-LHR.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

Is it too simplistic to ask, do planes have the flexibility in plumbing for these type of suites or will they hog a space where an otherwise regular toilet would go?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2020

Total posts 3

All very nice for the "right" hand person, but how does the "left" hand person get to the toilet? Out into the aisle and in again, not so private.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 235

Well Malcolm, if you don't want the rest of the passengers to see your better half when they alight to visit the loo, YOU'LL volunteer to sleep on the other side (if not already told where you'll be sleeping).

(Sorry mate, couldn't help myself.)

04 Dec 2019

Total posts 2

The hallway certainly seems like a massive waste of space (especially if utilising the double bed option)! And considering it would probably take airlines back to a 2-2-2 layout, I don't quite see what the benefit is..... 50% of people have private bathrooms?


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