Executive Traveller exclusive
Etihad Airways will follow up this year’s debut of the Airbus A350 Business Studio suites with spacious private suites for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Etihad has eleven Dreamliners slated for delivery from 2023, and an Etihad spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller they’ll be crowned by the new Elements suite from manufacturer Collins Aerospace.
Collins supplied its doored Elevation seat, previously known as the Super Diamond NG, to serve as Etihad’s A350 Business Studio suite.
For the Boeing 787, Etihad will move to Collins’ Elements suite – considered the next next generation of the popular Super Diamond platform, which its designers have evolved to increase personal space and privacy.
Executive Traveller can share the first images of Etihad’s 787 Business Studio in its native albeit highly stylised form – not yet customised by the Gulf carrier – from manufacturer Collins Aerospace.
A revised seat mechanism allows the seat to be positioned “closer to the back of the shell”, says Collins Aerospace’ Alistair Hamilton.
“The bed now goes lower, we’ve raised the food tray so it’s more out of the way when you enter bed mode, everything lets us use the space more efficiently,” Hamilton told Executive Traveller at this week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, where Elements made its public debut.
The process of carving out more ‘living space’ also let Collins open up more room for your feet under the monitor, while airlines can specify that screen to a massive 21 inches.
A small lip wrapped over the top of the suite – a feature which Collins terms a ‘halo’ – adds a surprising degree of privacy for such a relatively minor finesse.
The Elements-based Dreamliner Business Studio suites will further burnish Etihad’s premium cabin as a flagship “business plus” proposition, in the words of Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas.
“With ‘business plus’ we want to retain the premium that sits within Etihad brand (and) the quality of the product represented by what we offer on board,” Douglas told Executive Traveller earlier this year on the sidelines of Etihad’s inaugural A350-1000 flight to Paris, ahead of a rollout which by mid-year will become a future to New York and Chicago.
And while the A350-1000 settle into “extra-long haul route”, Douglas says, the Boeing 787s will remain the workhorse of Etihad’s international network.
“I think we’ve got the third-largest fleet of 787s in the world,” Douglas reflects.
“We’ve 39 of them currently, both the -9 and the -10, and they’re utilised about 16 hours a day – they’re incredible performers and they’re the backbone of the fleet.”