Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, yesterday officially unveiled its prestigious new premium lounge at Dulles International Airport. The opening of this world-class facility follows the launch of the airline’s new daily service linking Abu Dhabi and Washington, D.C. on March 31. 

The new facility is part of an overall total investment of US$50 million over the next 12 months to build further premium lounges at major destinations across Etihad Airways’ fast growing global network. In addition to its signature First and Business Class lounges in Abu Dhabi, the airline has also established premium lounges in Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester and Paris. Additionally, new state-of-the-art luxury lounges are planned for New York, Sydney and Melbourne.

The beautifully-appointed split level lounge features a whole range of exclusive services including soothing relaxation spaces, elegant fine dining areas, state-of-the-art business amenities, luxurious bathrooms with invigorating shower facilities, and family entertainment areas. 

Located next to the airline’s departure gate in Terminal A, the lounge provides premium passengers with unfettered and convenient direct access to the aircraft without having to go through a traditional departure gate.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “In creating our guest experience we derive our inspiration not by looking at other airlines but by benchmarking ourselves against some of the world’s leading hotels and restaurants.

“We continue to invest heavily in continuous innovation to ensure a memorable and seamless experience for our guests on the ground and in the air. 

“Fundamental to this experience is being able to offer the warm and generous hospitality that is the hallmark of traditional Arabian culture in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.” 

Overseeing the new premium lounge is Sharla Hofmann, a US national from Hawaii. With a BA in Travel Industry Management and over 20 years of extensive hospitality and airline experience gained in the US and at Etihad Airways, Ms Hofmann will oversee the smooth running of the lounge’s day-to-day business, ensuring that guests experience Etihad Airways’ hospitality at its best and enjoy a truly remarkable journey, from the ground to the air.

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