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26 May 2016 13:02

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has been presented with the title of ‘Most Innovative Airline of the Last Ten Years’ at the Telegraph UltraTravel Awards, which were held at the London Savoy Hotel. 

The awards are known as the ULTRAs and are conducted by an annual survey where readers of The Telegraph’s luxury-travel magazine Ultratravel and The Telegraph’s luxury website recognise their favourite brands currently operating in the travel sector today.  The airline was particularly recognised for having redefined the premium flying experience with the launch of The Residence, its ultra-premium cabin on the Airbus 380 and a focus of the airline’s ‘Flying Reimagined’ campaign. 

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “I’m delighted that readers of the Telegraph and particularly followers of the ULTRAs have recognised the commitment to innovation of the airline over the last ten years. It’s been a remarkable period of growth as we have looked to build the best airline brand operating in the skies today. 

“What we have offered to date is just the beginning of our story and we aim to surpass what’s been delivered so far and continue to meet the high expectations of travellers who are looking for that special experience right across all cabin classes.” 

As well as additions such as the Smart Economy, Business Studios, First Apartments and the Residence to the A380 fleet, Etihad Airways also launched new premium products including new First Class Suites on its growing fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. As part of a wider rollout, the airline has invested heavily in new uniforms, aircraft livery and on-board products in business, first and economy. While on the ground, guests have been welcomed to new premium lounges at New York JFK and Melbourne and will shortly open a new flagship first class lounge in Abu Dhabi. 

In addition Hollywood film star, Nicole Kidman, has been at the forefront of the company’s campaigns on the screen and also in virtual reality. Kidman has been the face of the ‘Flying Reimagined’ campaign, which has been a focus of the airline’s recent promotional activity. The vision aims to rewrite the rule book through reimagining flying, breaking away from convention and leading the way in innovation, design, style and hospitality. 

The award recognised the significance of The Residence, which was designed as a unique and bespoke travel experience, delivered with complete discretion and limitless hospitality. With a living room, separate bedroom and ensuite shower room, it is the only three-room suite on a commercial airline, designed for two people travelling together or an individual. 

On board, guests are served by a Savoy-trained Etihad Butler and onboard chefs qualified to ensure a tailored experience, looking after passengers from before take-off to touchdown. Etihad Airways currently offers The Residence on its A380 services to London Heathrow, New York, Mumbai, Sydney and Melbourne. 

Etihad Airways has expanded its portfolio of services over the years and is today part of a wider aviation group. The group is aiming to expand and provide the same premium services in the air as it does on the ground across Etihad and its partners, as well as related travel and distribution businesses.

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