|Living room of The Residence aboard A380|
“We have elevated the travel experience for premium guests by configuring our flagship aircraft with genuine living spaces, providing the levels of privacy, technology and discreet service only found on the most luxurious private jets,” Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, said in a statement announcing the agreement.
The cabins provide “[T]he levels of luxury, discretion and technology [charter customers] expect on private jet, which can now be enjoyed on Etihad Airways’ longhaul network,” giving guests a private jet experience on the largest passenger aircraft in the world, and the infrastructure of a world-leading airline, operating to primary gateway airports.
The Residence, which measures 125 square feet, provides passengers a private three-room cabin including a living room, double bedroom, private bathroom and a dedicated Savoy-trained butler. Etihad’s A380s are configured with nine First Apartments with a completely private living space, a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman that converts to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed.
|First Apartment aboard A380|
At the airport, the Etihad VIP Concierge team assists guests with all check-in and security formalities to make the experience aboard a commercial aircraft as close as possible to that of a private jet service.
The Residence and First Apartments both offer full inflight connectivity including WiFi and mobile services, advanced personal entertainment systems, and luxury chauffeur transfers to and from airports served by Etihad Airways’ A380 fleet.
Etihad Airways’ A380s currently operate three daily services from Abu Dhabi International (AUH) to London Heathrow (LHR), and one of its two daily services between AUH and Sydney (SYD). On Dec. 1, Etihad Airways will deploy an A380 on one of its two daily flights from Abu Dhabi to New York’s Jon F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Guests traveling in The Residence and First Apartments will also be able to charter private jets through Chapman Freeborn for travel from Etihad’s A380 gateways, providing what the companies call “a point-to-point experience to their final destination.”
While one might think that Chapman Freeborn will have its work cut out for it, a quick check of Etihad's web site suggests that The Residence is already quite popular with well-heeled travelers. Checking two sample trips from JFK-AUH in October and November showed no availability for The Residence, though First Apartments were available for about $22,100 for the round trips. The Residence was available for flight pairs on Jan. 10 and 17. The price: $64,100 for the round trip. Talk about ‘upmarket’!
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Photos copyright Etihad and Chapman Freeborn
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