Shangri-La, China – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been awarded “Best First Class” by Condé Nast Traveller China in the publication’s “Gold List 2018”, announced at an award ceremony at Songtsam Linka Shangri-La in Yunnan Province, China. It is the third consecutive year Etihad has been selected as a “Gold List” winner.
Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We are extremely honoured to be listed on Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘Gold List’ for the third consecutive year in China — an incredibly important market for us. This is a testament to our attention to excellence at every level. We are strengthening our position as a preferred airline in bringing innovative products, intuitive service and world-class hospitality to our guests.”
In the past decade, innovative and cutting-edge products and services, such as The Residence, Inflight Chef, Food & Beverage Manager and Flying Nanny, elevated Etihad in a competitive market.
“While we will continue to offer an unparalleled experience for all our guests, we are a proud advocate of choice and believe the power of choice is with the passenger to decide what products are right for them. That’s why we launched the new ‘Choose Well’ brand platform late last year, to invite our guests to decide how they travel,” added Mr. Kamark.
This year, Etihad introduced the luxurious Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on its Beijing route and the 787-9 on its daily Hong Kong service. Looking ahead, Etihad Airways will deploy the 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu, effective 1 July 2019. Also from 1 July, the airline’s daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai will be upgraded to the larger 787-10 Dreamliner.
Once the changes take effect, the airline will operate all 28 weekly services to China’s four main gateways — Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Over 11 years of successful operation in the China market, Etihad has witnessed significant yearly growth in passenger numbers on its services to and from China, further boosted by codeshare agreements with partner airlines and the mutual visa-exemption policy between the UAE and China, implemented in January 2018.
Features of the 2019 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List “Best First Class” award-winning cabins — The Residence and First Apartment by Etihad Airways:
The Residence on the airline’s fleet of A380s is the world’s first private three-room suite in commercial aviation, comprising a living room, double bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Guests are ensured a tailored experience by the personal inflight Butler, who looks after their needs from take-off until touchdown and provides detailed destination information, including recommendations on events and activities.
The dining experience in The Residence is similar to a top restaurant with multi-course dining complemented with bespoke beverage pairings. Guests can even enjoy an intimate meal for two served by the Inflight Chef, who is a fully-qualified, internationally trained chef with culinary expertise in fine dining.
The en-suite shower is stocked with Aqua di Parma products, while the bedroom is furnished with a comfortable double bed and luxurious designer Italian bed linen.
Etihad’s A380’s boasts nine First Apartments, which feature a flat-screen television, a chilled mini-bar, a Poltrona Frau leather armchair and a separate ottoman, which converts into a full-length 80.5-inch-long bed. To add to the luxurious onboard experience, a dedicated shower room is available for the exclusive use of first class passengers.
All guests in The Residence and First cabins have access to premium airport lounges and limousine services at selected locations worldwide. The state-of-the-art flagship First Lounge and Spa at the Abu Dhabi International Airport features 16 unique zones designed to ensure that guests can relax, re-energise and be entertained in total luxury before boarding their flight.
An à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room, prayer room and children’s play room ensure that all guests receive an unparalleled experience.