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04 May 2014 11:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will debut its new Economy Smart Seat onboard the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to be delivered later this year, offering guests enhanced comfort and entertainment. 

The Economy Smart Seat is customised with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest which offers greater comfort and relaxation to guests. Upholstered in locally-sourced camel leather, the fixed wing headrest is designed to provide a firm surface for guests to rest their heads, as well as additional privacy between seats. 

There is a fleece blanket and pillow on every seat as well as a convenient entertainment and connectivity hub in the seatback in front with all services in easy reach. 

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “The new Etihad Airways A380 and B787 aircraft will reaffirm our status as the World’s Leading Airline*, with enhanced comfort and enjoyment for all, not just in premium cabins. 

“Etihad Airways has always understood the importance of providing a travel experience that cannot be matched by others, and we have spent the past five years creating an Economy Class product that will be favoured by millions around the world.” 

In 2008, recognising that no single design agency could deliver its vision for the new cabins, Etihad Airways established the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) which brought together three leading design companies, Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding, to develop innovative cabin and seat designs for the new fleets.  

The EDC partnered with Promise Communispace, a leading co-creation agency, to launch comprehensive consumer research and workshops in Abu Dhabi, Sydney, London and New York, with the goal of understanding what makes a ‘perfect flight’ and asking consumers to help design the perfect airline.  

Eighty per cent of the new product offering is a direct result of the feedback and information garnered from these workshops. 

Etihad Airways’ design vision was to bring the individuality and exclusivity of a luxury boutique hotel experience to the sky in a way that embraced Arabian Modernism, an aesthetic that combines the traditions of the region with contemporary design. 

Etihad Airways is introducing the latest Panasonic EX3 entertainment system across both fleets, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins.  

The system has video touchscreen handsets, offering an additional screen for guests to maximise their entertainment, so they can play games or view the moving map while watching a movie.  Noise cancelling headsets are provided across all cabins, with built-in magnetic audio jacks to ensure the best sound quality. 

The décor of the new Economy Class product is modern and stylish, inspired by Modern Arabia, while a number of different mood lighting scenarios add to the relaxing and welcoming ambience of the cabin.  

Across the entire fleet, Etihad Airways will continue its generous Economy Class service, offering a selection of three main courses, as well as a café service with hot chocolate and cappuccino. 

In addition, guests will benefit from the airline’s dedicated family travel program, including the popular Flying Nanny service on board long-haul flights. 

Identified by bright orange aprons, each Flying Nanny has been trained by the world renowned Norland College and is on board to provide a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors. 

Guests can browse a number of stylish duty free displays in the A380, which have been stocked with a range of best-selling items from Etihad Airways’ extensive retail catalogue. 

Importantly for the airline’s Muslim guests, Etihad Airways has developed prayer areas which can be curtained off for privacy and are equipped with a real-time electronic Qibla-finder showing the exact direction of Mecca based on the aircraft’s geographical position. 

* World Travel Awards 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 

To view images and video of the new cabins, please click on the following links:

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