Etihad Airways used the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai to reveal the details behind its new 787 fleet which will supplement the existing long-haul fleet later this year. Instead of opting to continue the heavily customised Business Class seats that the airline currently operates across its 787’s and returning A380’s, Etihad opted for customised off-the-shelf seats, similar in design to the A350 fleet which is already flying key long-haul routes.

While operating 39 of the fleet already, “Etihad’s new 787 Dreamliner cabin interior showcases further enhancements to our award-winning and industry renowned cabins. Our new Business class takes the guest experience to new heights with the second evolution of the Business Studio which was launched on the Airbus A350-1000 last year,” said Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways.

The seat might look similar on the surface, but its a totally different product. The customised version of the Elements seat is actually manufactured by Collins, and you might struggle to find this seat elsewhere right now, as Etihad is the first airline in the world to introduce the Elements seat on the Boeing 787.

Just like the A350, the new seats will provide guests with a herringbone private suite with added privacy provided by a door. Interestingly, the height of the suite has been further increased from the A350’s debut model, something we noted was more of a ‘nod to privacy’ which now means there is even greater privacy for guests.

The design language reflects that of the new A350s, with more muted subdued tones, a noted shift away from the sandy hues of the previous incarnation. Being a bit more LOPA friendly, the airline is able to squeeze in another 4 seats into the Business Class cabin, with each of the 32 Business seats having direct aisle access. The seats recline to a fully lie-flat-bed 78” in length and feature a 17.3” 4K TV screen, Bluetooth headphone pairing, multiple charging ports and wireless charging, as well as plenty of storage.

In Economy, things might look different but the newest 787 will feature 271 lighter seats, therefore becoming more fuel efficient. Although we’ve not trialled the seats, the airline “boasts exceptional comfort and an increased feeling of space created by the smart design and adjustments including a slimmer profile armrest.” Guests can also enjoy an extensive range of entertainment on the 13.3” 4K touch-screen monitor which also includes a convenient USB charging port. Just like the A350, there is bluetooth pairing across every seat as well.

Neves continues: “We remain fully committed to providing industry-leading experiences for our guests and we’re proud to showcase this here at the Arabian Travel Market. This year is about growth for Etihad – as well as enhancing our guest experience and adding aircraft to our fleet, we’ve announced new routes for our network, including Kolkata last month, Lisbon, Malaga and Mykonos this summer and Copenhagen and Dusseldorf in the fourth quarter.”

As I do every year, I ask on your kind support to keep things going. If you are able to donate – whatever amount – it all gets funnelled back in to the site, to keep the site full of content. And I thank you personally for your kind support.

Why not check out our latest A350 and 787 reviews to see the older and newer products side by side?

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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