Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways has announced the creation of a miniature suite on its long haul flights to attract the very top end of flying customers. The suite located at the front of the plane will feature a closed off bedroom along with a small living area, a private bathroom with shower and a dedicated butler. Etihad has been taking several initiatives to woo high spending flyers lately. The perks available to their first class passengers include private chef and in-flight nannies. James Hogan, the Chief Executive of Etihad Airways insisted that the new initiative is not meant to simply create a buzz in the industry but has been designed as a profitable venture.
Etihad Airways was founded in 2003 and has grown rapidly in a decade. It boasts of a fleet of 96 jets and has ordered 220 more aircrafts including10 Airbus A380s and 71 Boeing 787s which will feature the premium miniature suite. The new initiative is aimed to position Etihad as a premium carrier and also to cater to the demand at the very top end of the market. Etihad is the newest and the smallest amongst the three carriers operating out of UAE. These government backed airlines have been expanding aggressively and have successfully converted their base into hubs and have been attracting an increasing number of passengers by offering exclusive facilities and amenities.
Abu Dhabi now boasts of a US preclearance facility staffed by American customs and border officials. The facility is largely funded by UAE and has become a reality only due to persistent efforts by Etihad. It is proving to be a major advantage for the airline. They have also been building up stakes in other international carriers including Virgin Australia and Air Berlin, in order to consolidate its position in the aviation industry.
Their new offering will also help them become the preferred airline for the elite luxury travelers. The three section miniature suite spread over 125 square feet is being called a ‘residence’ by the airline. It is ideal for a couple as it provides all the privacy and comfort you might require. The first A380 with the ‘residence’ is expected to be delivered in December and it will be deployed on the Abu Dhabi London sector. The suite is likely to cost about $21,000 on the sector.