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Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Etihad Airways first class suite enters service

29 August 2009
Etihad Airways has introduced its highly-anticipated new first class suite into service, marking a new era in luxury air travel.

The new product on board the airline's latest Airbus A340-600 is now operating between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow.

The state-of-the-art private suite provides first class customers with an extra-large leather seat, upholstered by world-renowned leather company Poltrona Frau, which extends to a fully-flat bed, 80.5 inches in length.

Within the first class cabin there is also a large and luxurious changing room with a full length mirror, wash basin and leather fold-down seat allowing customers to freshen up at any time during the flight.

James Hogan, Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways' chief executive, said: "The entry into service of our new first class product is a major milestone for Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airwaysas it is the first time we have offered our customers their own private suite within the first class cabin.

"The new suite is state-of-the-art in every way and the innovative enhancements, such as a personal illuminated wardrobe with mirror and refreshment cabinet, demonstrate our continued commitment to provide a world-class experience for our premium passengers."

A second A340-600 with the new suite will join the fleet in September 2009. Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airwayswill take delivery during the next two years of a further five Airbus A330-300 aircraft configured with the new first class suites. The first of these new aircraft is due to arrive in December 2009. The airline will also retrofit nine Airbus A340 aircraft that are currently in service by December 2010.

The new suites feature in-flight entertainment of the highest quality, with more than 600 hours of entertainment available on-demand on the 23 inch wide-screen LCD screen. In-flight dining is taken to a new level with meals served on an extra large wood-finished table.

Key features of the new first class cabin include:

  • First class suite is an 82 inch long private space with an extra-large seat

  • The suites are in a 1-2-1 configuration, allowing all customers direct access to the aisle

  • The first class seat transforms into a fully-flat bed with a total length of 80.5 inch and width of 29.75 inch

  • Each private suite is accessed by its own 57 inch high sliding screen door

  • Centre seats have an optional privacy divider offering total seclusion

  • Every suite is equipped with a personal illuminated wardrobe with mirror, refreshments cabinet and new compartments built into and around the seat for customers to stow their possessions

  • Luxurious leather seats have been upholstered by world-renowned Poltrana Frau, which also provides interiors for Ferrari cars

  • A handy touch-screen control activates the built-in massage

  • Every seat comes equipped with in-seat power sockets for PCs, USB ports, Ethernet port and audio jack. Customers can also connect their own media player to the IFE system

  • Seats are equipped with a 23 inch personal TV/video screen, with cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio

  • Noise cancelling headsets

  • Four different dimmer settings for four individual lights

  • The in-flight entertainment system allows customers to pause, stop, fast-forward or rewind more than 600 hours of films, TV and radio programmes, and play games

  • Meals are served on an extra large (24 inch x 25 inch) wood finished table. The new seat also allows up to four people to dine together, face-to-face

  • A large changing room with a full length mirror, new style washbasin and leather fold-down changing room seat, along with designer amenity kits, allows customers to freshen up and change after take-off and prior to landing

Key features of Etihad's premium in-flight experience:

  • Introduction of a new cabin crew position called the food and beverage manager responsible for championing the quality, presentation and delivery of in-flight dining

  • First and business class customers can dine on demand anytime from an a la carte fine dining menu or opt for kitchen style snacks

Key features of Etihad premium ground services experience:

  • First and business class customers flying from Abu Dhabi airport can take advantage of a dedicated concierge service

  • Customers' complimentary limousine service is met kerb-side and they are then escorted to the airline's dedicated premium check-in zone

  • Dedicated first and business class lounges at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi airport

  • Lounges offer a range of services including all-day fine dining, boardroom-style meeting facilities, Six Senses Spa treatments, a champagne bar and even a cigar room

To view an online demonstration of the new first class cabin, visit Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airwayswebsite, A range of images of the new first class suite are also available for download at


About Etihad Airways
Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airwaysis the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi. Etihad offers flights to more than 50 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. For further details: Etihad AirwaysEtihad AirwaysCorporate Communications: Tel: + 971 (0) 2 511 1032 / 1036 or visit

© Press Release 2009

from Four Communications Group

UAE companies hiring again with an eye on recovery

Emirates Business 24-7, 30 August 2009

Companies in the UAE - which for the most part had put on hold all recruitment in the face of the economic crisis - have started hiring again.

An exclusive survey conducted by Emirates Business over the past one week queried 24 top officials of leading recruitment agencies in the country. The results showed that a majority (see graph) were of the view that companies have started selectively hiring for the long term, in preparation for a measured recovery in 2010. Majority of the respondents in the survey believe that the UAE has seen a bottoming in terms of overall economy. In fact, 75 per cent of participants in the survey said that the worst is over and the UAE is exiting the crisis.

However, 25 per cent said it will take some time before the economy is actually out of the woods.

Also, 12.5 per cent said that this was not the case, as they had not witnessed any marked increase in recruitment activity in the country.

By Shuchita Kapur

© Emirates Business 24/7 2009