Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with “the only three-room suite in the sky.”
The A380 is the first of a fleet of 10 on order from Etihad Airways, which is to take delivery of four more of the double-decker jets next year.
The A380 will operate daily to London Heathrow starting Dec. 27 and features “The Residence by Etihad” — a three-room suite, complete with a living room, a private bathroom with shower and a bedroom, as well as a dedicated butler at the very front of the plane’s upper deck. The 11.6 square metre cabin is for single or double occupancy.
AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, FileThe 11.61-square-metre area that includes a “living room” partitioned off from the first-class aisle, leather seating, a chilled mini-bar and a 32-inch flat-screen TV, at a training facility in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The area was created as a mock-up suite to be built in Etihad Airways airplanes.
The airliner says the suite has already been booked for its inaugural flight to London. The company’s executives previously said that the suite was expected to be priced at $21,000 — one way.
The fast-growing Gulf carrier has a fleet of 109 aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order.
The airline also showcased Thursday its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which will begin flying to Dusseldorf, Germany, on Feb. 1. It will offer high-end travellers a suite with a chilled mini-bar and seats that can be joined to create a double bed.
The company said that three more of the Dreamliners are expected to be delivered in 2015.
Etihad President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said that despite some delays with the 787 due to a variety of glitches, he is “very confident that the issues they have had have been resolved.”
Etihad said that Abu Dhabi-based FGB and The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia will provide financing for the purchase of a number of its Boeing 787 aircraft. It also received financing from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for its first Airbus A380 aircraft.
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliTwo visitors of Arab Gulf states visit inside the cockpit of a new Etihad Airways A380 unveiled in an event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesA double bed is seen inside one of the first class apartment on the Etihad Airways Boeing B787, at Abu Dhabi airport on Dec,.18, 2014.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesJournalists tour the first class section on the Etihad Airways A380 Airbus superjumbo, at Abu Dhabi airport on Dec. 18, 2014.
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliEmirati and other guests from foreign countries visit inside a new Etihad Airways A380 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesJournalists tour the first class section on the Etihad Airways Boeing B787, at Abu Dhabi airport on December 18, 2014 after the Abu Dhabi-based fast-growing carrier revealed its first Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing B787.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesA journalist sits in one of the first class apartments on the Etihad Airways A380 Airbus superjumbo, at Abu Dhabi airport on Dec. 18, 2014 after the Abu Dhabi-based fast-growing carrier revealed its first Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing B787.
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliAn Emirati man takes a selfie in front of a new Etihad Airways A380 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Etihad airways flight attendant stands in front of the new Etihad A380 Airbus superjumbo, at Abu Dhabi airport on Dec. 18, 2014.