Etihad Airways is all set to open its new lounge for first class customers at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The new first class lounge would be inaugurated in May this year. The new lounge, apart from being accessed by first class fliers, would also be available for those traveling in The Residence suites of the airline’s Airbus A380 aircraft. It will also be open for access to Etihad Guest Platinum frequent flyer program members and for top-tier cardholders of the Etihad’s airline partners as well.
Presently, the airline’s first class customers are making use of the Premium lounge, which is also being simultaneously used by the business class customers as well. According to the airline, even after the opening of the new first class lounge the business class fliers will continue to make use of the Premium lounge. Earlier, Etihad Airways inaugurated its new first class and business class lounge at Terminal 4 of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Peter Baumgartner, COO of Etihad Airways, said, “The new first class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport would be the jewel in the crown of the airline’s fast expanding global lounge prortfolio. Moreover, the new facility would also be a showcase of innovation and intelligent design, and offer the customers world’s best premium airport experience.”
It may be recalled that Etihad Airways had launched new seating in its Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircrafts in 2014. The upper deck on the Airbus A380 is all-premium, with the airline offering a three-room “residence”, nine first “apartments” and 70 business class seats. There is a lobby between the two cabins with a bar and lounge area where one can find a marquetry table, leather sofas and a large-screen TV for both first class and business class customers.
The first class ‘seats’ are of two types. The seats of Airbus A380 aircraft are termed as first “apartments”, while on Boeing 787-9 aircrafts are termed as first “suites”. On the Airbus A380, six of the nine apartments are for exclusive use of couples with connecting doors. A three-room suite called “The Residence” is also there on the aircraft with a dedicated butler and an ensuite bathroom. A reclining lounge chair is provided in each apartment. There is also an ottoman, which can be converted to become an 80.5-inch-long fully-flat bed. The new first apartments are quite spacious and offer the customers 74 percent more space than the airline’s existing First suite.
Etihad Airways also claims that the new business class on both Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 aircrafts would be offering 20 percent more personal space than what is being currently offered in its existing business class cabins. While the airline is offering 70 business class seats on its Airbus A380, the customers traveling in Boeing 787-9 aircraft are being offered 28 business class seats. The backward and forward facing business class seats on both the aircrafts have been configured in a 1-2-1 layout offering direct aisle access. There is also more space around the seats now so that a laptop could be placed on the side table, while food is being simultaneously served on the main table.