Etihad Airways revamps cabins with VIP ‘apartments’ and showers

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is revamping its cabin interiors and has worked with a consortium of UK design consultancies.

The VIP bedroom
The VIP bedroom

In 2009, Etihad appointed a consortium comprising Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding to work on cabins – across all classes – for the airline’s Airbus A380 and Boeing B787 Dreamliner fleets.

A spokeswoman for Honour Branding said at the time that the contract was ‘the most sought-after in aviation’.

The VIP cabin bed
The VIP cabin bed

Acumen was tasked with designing new onboard seating across First Class, Business and Economy and Factorydesign was briefed to redesign the passenger experience and cabin interior elements, including galleys, lavatories and ‘passenger destination zones’.

Honour Branding’s role was to define the design strategy across the project. Honour and Factorydesign also worked together to design the onboard guest experience, which includes the new catering and service offers.

The Galley
The Galley

The design group, which was named the Etihad Design Consortium, says it has worked to redefine ‘every aspect of every class’, introducing new seat, galley and lavatory designs, as well as new passenger spaces.

The designs include a VIP cabin – ‘The Residence by Etihad’ – which features its own separate bedroom and shower. EDC says it has also developed the world’s first wide-bodied single-aisle First Class cabin, which features individual hotel bedroom ‘apartments’.

The Residence VIP cabin
The Residence VIP cabin

The First Class suite also features a forward and aft configuration and a ‘joggled’ aisle configuration.

The designs also feature a new Business Studio, highly customised galleys and lighting and a large Lobby Lounge for premium customers.

The Lobby
The Lobby

The EDC says it began the project with a series of customer research events – the Etihad Big Talks – which were held in cities around the world.

This led the team to develop designs around the concept of a ‘luxury boutique hotel experience that embraced Arabian Modernism’.

The VIP bathroom
The VIP bathroom

The EDC created a partial full-scale mock-up of the upper deck of the A380 at a secret location in a warehouse near London Heathrow Airport.

This installation, and other mock-ups, were tested with customers to help evaluate design choices.

First Class apartment
First Class apartment

Mock-up A380 and B787 cabins have now been transported to Abu Dhabi to be built in Etihad’s new Innovation Centre, to serve as a showcase and training facility for staff.

The new designs are set to come into service at the end of the year, with Etihad’s Airbus 380s set to take flight in December. The Boeing B787 Dreamliner is set to follow in 2015.

First Class apartment
First Class apartment
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Comments
  • Geoff Jackson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    These look very luxurious. Would love to experience these one day.

  • Kelly Vallance November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Spectacular work all round. Game changer for the luxury sector. Very impressive.

  • Saeed alnabet November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What is the rates from abu dhabi to usa

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