Beyond First Class: Etihad’s new A380 to feature 3-room ‘The Residence’ suite

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This article originally appeared on TheDesignAir

By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

Etihad Airways has unveiled the world’s first private multi-room cabin on a commercial passenger aircraft. Called ‘The Residence’, the ‘uber premium’ space will feature a living room, double bedroom, separate ensuite shower room, and for the first time in the airline industry, a dedicated, trained butler.

Measuring an unparalleled 125 square feet in total area, The Residence will be located on the forward upper deck of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s new fleet of Airbus A380s and will be available for single or double occupancy. Yes. That’s 125 square feet of your own private space, and if that wasn’t enough, you still have access to the First Class offerings including the brand new onboard lounge.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The Residence will set Etihad Airways apart from the rest of the industry and allow us to provide the complete range of world-class products and services to cater for the individual tastes of every VIP traveller.

“This is the culmination of five years of intensive effort and research into how Etihad Airways can provide an unparalleled VIP experience. Without doubt, we are ushering in a new era of luxury travel in commercial aviation.”

Living room, master bedroom, shower
The living room in The Residence is furnished with a two-seat reclining sofa upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, dual marquetry dining tables and a chilled mini-bar. A touchscreen control unit operates the retractable ottoman, the ambient and mood lighting, window shading, adjusts seat position and firmness, and activates the in-seat massage functions.

A door and passageway separate the living room from the master bedroom and the ensuite shower room. The bedroom features a Poltrona Frau upholstered 82 inch long double bed with custom-made mattress, bedside unit, wardrobe, and under-bed stowage for hand luggage (video here).

The living room features a large 32 inch LCD TV, whilst the bedroom boasts its own 27 inch LCD TV. The communications suite features broadband with internet mobile and data capability, Live TV, HDMI, AC outlet and USB ports. The Residence is fully Wi-Fi enabled and equipped with the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, controlled by video touch screen and handset.

In keeping with the cabin interiors in the rest of the aircraft, The Residence is decorated in a contemporary style influenced by modern Arabian design. It also has unique décor elements such as custom carpets, table marquetry and soft furnishings, inspired by best-in-class boutique hospitality.

Certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for dual occupancy, The Residence has been built by B/E Aerospace in the United Kingdom in close partnership with the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) featuring Honour Branding, Acumen and Factory Design and also features Poltrona Frau studio for the leather work.

Private butler
Guests staying in The Residence will also have a dedicated Butler on call throughout the flight, offering the type of discrete personal service and attention to detail found in exclusive hotels. These hospitality professionals have been selected by Etihad Airways and are undergoing specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London, part of the world-famous Savoy Hotel.

The Butler’s role is multi-faceted including that of a Concierge and Maitre d’hotel. Their uniform has been designed by Rome-based fashion designer, Ettore Bilotta, to reflect the superior levels of professionalism and style associated with this unique role. A dedicated VIP Concierge team will ensure all aspects of the experience, including booking luxury limousine transfers, check-in, and custom menu planning, are handled with discretion.

Check out the full story on all of the new innovations on the Etihad A380 on TheDesignair website.

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