In May, Etihad announced further detail of its new flagship A380 order. The A380 would operate on a four class basis, with the Economy Smart seat, Business Studio, First Apartments and the cherry on top, The Residence. Yes, and it does live up to its name, something which has never been done before now, a 3 room apartment suitable for two people. It’s described by Etihad as “providing the level of privacy up until now only possible within private aviation”.
So what exactly is The Residence?
The Residence, when launched, upon Etihad’s first A380 delivery in November, will feature a 3 room apartment consisting of the following:
A living room – complete with a two seater reclinding sofa upholstered by Poltrona Frau (think Ferrari interiors), a 32” TV monitor, chilled mini bar, massage seating and retractable ottoman.
A bedroom – with a 82” long wide double bed also upholstered by Poltrona Frau, ambient lighting, a 27” TV monitor and a full length wardrobe.
Ensuite Shower-Room – Full height shower (goodbye USP Emirates…,) Sink with vanity mirror and Toilet.
There will only be one The Residence, available on each A380, and you’ve guessed it, tickets aren’t cheap. For a London > Sydney ticket you’re looking at close to £30,000 one way! Staggeringly expensive, but hey, it’s caused one hell of a stir. Up until now we had Singapore Airlines’ Suites (first double bed in the air on a commercial airliner) and Emirates’ shower service. This has truly blown the competition out the water in terms of product. I guess one thought that comes to mind, who’s going to fly this product? As currently there is no chance of them becoming available through mileage redemption… Most likely Sheikh’s and Celebrities then.
Well apart from your 3 room suite, you’ll have a personal butler trained by the Savoy Hotel in London (however it would appear they are ex cabin staff who took a 3 week course at the Savoy). You’ll get the usual which you’d expect in First, such as custom menus with dining on request, luxury bedding and shower products, as well as limousine transfers each way.
All I can say is, I look forward to November when the first reviews of this product are out. It’d be fantastic to see the level of detail that Etihad have gone through for this. It’ll also be interesting to see what the competition does in response, as typically the majority of Airlines are starting to sway away from First Class and offering exclusive Business and Economy services.
Overall Etihad, great work in providing 125 foot of the world’s most exclusive commercial airline product, way beyond first class.
I’ll be off to Abu Dhabi next month, so be sure to checkout my trip report then. Follow me on Facebook for updates and reviews. In the meantime checkout Etihad Airways for more info on their new A380. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates!
Photos courtesy of Etihad