13 Mar 2014 13:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today launches an exciting new program to improve sleep quality on its long-haul flights. 

Since July 2012, Etihad Airways has been working closely with a panel of sleep experts from the American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology (ACPN) in Abu Dhabi to research ways to enhance sleep in-flight. The Centre is staffed by American Board-certified aviation psychiatrists and neurologists and is renowned for its work in the field of aviation health. 

Etihad Airways has received expert guidance from the ACPN on sleep hygiene and on-board wellbeing, and has developed comprehensive guidelines for sleep in-flight, created for the airline’s guests as a result of clinical studies carried out by the ACPN on patients experiencing effects related to long-haul flying. 

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways said: “A good night’s sleep is scientifically proven to benefit one’s health and nowhere is this more important than on a long-haul flight. 

“We understand that sleep is an important requirement for our guests, many of whom fly multiple journeys with us each year. For this reason, we will continue ensuring greater levels of comfort and wellbeing on our flights. The research we have carried out in collaboration with the experts at the ACPN will allow us to significantly improve the cabin environment for our guests and to provide targeted investment in our on-board experience for tangible customer benefit.” 

Dr Yousef Abou Allaban, Managing Director of the American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology, said: “What is encouraging is that there is an airline placing tremendous importance and resources into the study of sleep on long distance flights. Etihad Airways approached us with the clear understanding that sleep is not just a luxury, but a physical necessity which affects every traveller on every level. We have worked closely with them to offer expert advice aimed at providing an optimum environment for sleep while flying, taking into consideration the challenges of modern travel.” 

A core part of Etihad Airways’ sleep initiative is the introduction of luxury all-natural bedding by COCO-MAT in Diamond First Class. Athens-based COCO-MAT, widely considered the world’s leading manufacturer of sustainably sourced sleep products, has designed an exclusive multi-layered sleep system mattress for Etihad Airways’ Diamond First Class suites. 

The unique mattress is made from extracts of the Hevea tree, a healthier alternative to standard petroleum-based foams. This natural rubber is known for its elasticity and is perforated with tiny holes to create a perfect ventilation system, enabling the material to breathe and regulate body temperature. The new bedding set features a 100 per cent cotton fitted sheet and a large down feather duvet and pillow. Etihad Airways is the only airline in the world to provide this bespoke product. 

The airline aims to enhance the sleep experience by focusing on the senses of touch, sight, sound, aroma and taste. Fine cotton Heather Grey sleepsuits, unique pillow mist, pulse point oil and a selection of Bergamote 22 toiletries by New York brand, Le Labo now feature as part of its First Class sleep amenities. High quality comforters, blankets, pillows are provided in Pearl Business Class and Coral Economy Class respectively, along with unique Sougha amenity kits, inspired by traditional Emirati artisanal designs in all classes.  

To minimise the effects of ambient cabin sounds, Etihad Airways provides noise cancellation headphones in all three classes. Furthermore, to counteract harsh light, all cabins feature advanced mood-lighting systems. 

Home comforts such as a sleep-time beverage service including hot chocolate and herbal teas are to be offered in all three classes. In Diamond First Class, sleep-inducing chamomile tea and a range of malt drinks will be added to the airline’s already extensive drinks selection as part of the sleep experience. 

Information about Etihad Airways’ Sleep Program can be found by visiting www.etihad.com/comfortzone. More information on sleep health and hygiene while travelling is available through a dedicated website developed by the ACPN together with Etihad Airways. Guests can visit www.sleeplabuae.com to contact Etihad Airways’ Sleep Experts for professional sleep advice.
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