06 Apr 2016 10:30
Etihad Airways has won the coveted 2016 Crystal Cabin Award in the new ‘Cabin Concepts’ category for its Boeing 787 First Class cabin, featuring the airline’s new First Suites, unique to its Dreamliner fleet. The ceremony was held last night in Hamburg, Germany, as part of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo.
The award is the second consecutive win for the
airline’s innovative new cabins. In 2015, it won the prestigious award for its
Airbus A380 upper deck cabin designs and products.
The Crystal Cabin Award is the only international
award recognising excellence in aircraft interior innovation. The international
judging panel is made up of more than 20 academics, engineers, representatives
of aircraft manufacturers and airlines, as well as journalists specialising in
the field of aircraft interior design.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad
Airways, said: “Yet again, the sheer
depth of innovation which went into the creation of the revolutionary First
Class cabin on our new fleet of Boeing 787s is being
recognised by the industry’s most respected experts and
professionals, as it was for our A380 in 2015. This vision has been driven by a
co-creation approach with consumers and magnificently brought to reality by the
many Etihad Airways employees involved in the project, together with the Etihad
“We continue to challenge
the conventions of modern cabin architecture by throwing away the rule book and
adopting a ‘blue sky’ approach to intelligent design and aesthetics, which will
continue well into the future as we prepare for the arrival of our future
Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 fleets.”
The award was presented jointly to Etihad Airways
and the members of the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) – a unique grouping of
three leading brand and design agencies, who pooled their combined skills to
deliver on the airline’s vision of a revolutionary change to the modern flying
Airways’ B787 interior is equally as ambitious as its highly acclaimed A380,
with the same ground-breaking innovation evident in all elements of the cabin
interior, from unique configurations to revolutionary seat
designs, reflecting the airline’s next phase of brand maturity and the
exciting growth of modern Abu Dhabi.
B787 First Class was a completely bespoke design for Etihad Airways, and the
challenge for the airline and the EDC was to create a product that could match
the unrivalled levels of space, features and luxury afforded to the First
Apartments on the A380, but uniquely packaged into a product that could be
integrated into the smaller, more ‘catalogue’ B787 aircraft. This is the first
time a First Class private suite design has been developed for a B787 cabin.
major directive for the EDC team was the creation of an environment designed to
complement the airline’s acclaimed service and hospitality philosophy, with
unique spaces which would allow the Inflight Chef and cabin crew to prepare and
deliver an unparalleled inflight experience with ease and efficiency. The work
also called for a design which would fully integrate the entertainment,
lighting, temperature and comfort systems to provide Etihad Airways’ First
Class guests with a virtual boutique hotel suite.
Etihad Airways B787 First Class cabin offers guests a forward and aft facing layout
with a unique curved aisle, a first in airline cabin design, which allows for
greater space and privacy, and is aesthetically striking. Each First Suite is
fitted out with a fully customisable seat that converts into a 204 centimetre
fully-flat bed featuring an advanced Lantal pneumatic cushion system. The seat
is upholstered in fine Italian leather from Poltrona Frau, an exclusive brand
synonymous with luxurious Ferrari and Maserati sports car interiors.
fully enclosed suite has 147 centimetre high sliding doors for maximum privacy,
an individual powerless chilled mini bar, a personal closet and a large single
leaf table with an option for dual dining. Four of the eight First Suites can
be transformed into shared double suite spaces for guests travelling together.
develop a premium cabin interior architecture for the First Suites, the EDC
worked closely with Boeing to deliver unique lighting scenarios that would
complement the interior linings and ceiling profiles, as well as the styling of
the suites. B787 features electrochromic windows which are 65 per cent larger
than those on other aircraft in its category, providing increased levels of
natural light. Windows can be darkened with the use of an optical shade made
from an electrified gel which darkens when the current is increased.
B787 First Class washrooms feature the same contemporary design elements as
those found on the airline’s A380 fleet.
Etihad Design Consortium
in 2008, in collaboration with leading co-creation and research agency, Promise
Communispace (now known as C-Space), the EDC incorporates three companies:
Acumen Design Associates, who were contracted to design all on-board seating;
Factorydesign, who were chosen to design the guest experience and destination
zones; and Honour Branding, who were tasked with
coordinating the project interface between the EDC and Etihad Airways and
formulating the creative strategy for the concept work.