New Etihad Boeing 787-9 business class for 2023

The next wave of Dreamliners will sport an upgraded version of the just-launched Business Studio suites.

By David Flynn, March 31 2022
New Etihad Boeing 787-9 business class for 2023
Executive Traveller exclusive

Having pulled back the curtains on its all-new Airbus A350 business class, Etihad Airways is already planning a fresher take on the same seat in its forthcoming Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Eleven Dreamliners are slated for delivery from 2023, and an Etihad spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller they’ll be crowned by the new Elements suite from Collins Aerospace.

Collins supplied its Super Diamond seat to serve as Etihad’s A350 Business Studio suite, and Elements is considered the next generation of the popular Super Diamond platform, with even more work done on personal space and at-seat storage.

Collins Aerospace' first showing of its Elements seat in 2019.
Collins Aerospace' first showing of its Elements seat in 2019.

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 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.”

 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 664

Here we a go again...another airline unnecessarily making it just that little more complicated with multiple seat types and wondering what you'll get on your flight. Why they don't spend the money standardising their fleets is beyond me. That would a a real premium crowd pleaser me thinks.

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 75

A few points:

  • Not all planes are the same though - requiring different seat types. E.g. the 787 is narrower than the 350, 777, 380
  • Seats continue to evolve; if they're commissioning a new plane type or have an opportunity to upgrade on an existing, why wouldn't they?
  • It's expensive and unnecessary to retrofit to existing fleet until they're tired.

Obviously Joe knows more about aircraft and seats and how to run an airline than Etihad. But for everybody else, the reason EY is looking at a different seat on these new 787-9s would almost certainly be because the A350 'Super Diamond' seat from Collins is too wide to fit on the 787. Even on the A350 the aisles are a bit narrow once you install the doored version of this suite, so it simply won't fit on a 787 which has a narrower fuselage than the A350. The Elements being a 'next generation' Diamond would still be close to the Diamond in most regards but I would be narrower, that would be why Etihad has chosen it.


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