Abu Dhabi, UAE-based Etihad – one of the three major Gulf airlines along with Emirates and Qatar Airways – has unveiled the design of its new Business class cabin, called Business Studios, and the destinations for its upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 aircraft.
The Business Studio suites will be introduced next December and January when Etihad takes delivery of its first A380 and B787 aircraft.
The first Boeing 787s will initially be flown on routes from Abu Dhabi to Washington DC, Düsseldorf and Mumbai. This will provide a luxurious Business Class alternative for travelers from the US capital to Mumbai – India’s commercial capital.
A total of 70 Business Studios will be located on the upper deck of the Etihad A380s, while each Boeing 787 will have 28 Business Studios, all with aisle access and fully-flat beds.
Business Studios are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving direct aisle access to all passengers. Each suite has a 22-inch wide seat and separate ottoman that together create a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.
The middle Business Studios, ideal for guests traveling together, can also offer full privacy with adjustable full-height screens between the suites.
The seats are upholstered in leather by Poltrona Frau, the prestigious Italian supplier of Ferrari’s automobile interiors.
Generous storage space will be available inside the Business Studio, including space under the ottoman for carry-on items and shoes and a large top-loading cupboard for water bottles, head-sets, books and other items. Each Studio will also have a surface on the side for laptops, tablets and books.
Business Studio suites feature contemporary design details, inspired by the aesthetics of modern Arabia. Lighting options in the suites include a side lamp, a reading light, and mood lighting.
Etihad is introducing the Panasonic EX3 entertainment system on both the A380s and the Dreamliners, offering more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment and gaming on high-definition displays in all the cabins.
The system includes video touchscreen handsets featuring an additional screen for playing games or view the moving map while watching a movie. Noise cancelling headsets with built-in magnetic audio jacks are also included.
The A380s will have full mobile and Wi-Fly (Wi-Fi Internet) connectivity, while the Boeing 787s will be equipped with Wi-Fly.
Other business class amenities include the option to dine any time with Food and Beverage Managers on hand to assist with food selections.
First and Business Class passengers on the A380s will be able to relax in The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar area located between the First and Business cabins.
The Lobby will feature semi-circular leather sofas, a table and a large TV screen.
The Lobby TV can also be used for sharing content by the passengers through HDMI connections or can simply be set to the airline’s Live TV channels for sporting and other events.
The first Etihad Boeing 787-9 will enter commercial service in December 2014, with the second aircraft entering service in January 2015. By the end of 2015, Etihad will have five Dreamliners as well as five A380s in operation.
Each Etihad Dreamliner will have eight First Suites in First Class, 28 Business Studios in Business Class and 199 Economy Smart Seats in Economy Class.
Etihad has ordered a total of 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners scheduled for delivery between the end of 2014 and 2023.