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Etihad Airways unveils stunning new Airbus A350 cabin

Etihad Airways has unveiled stunning new Airbus A350 cabin.

Gorgeous new A350

Etihad Airways has put into service its newest type of aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000. This morning saw the inaugural flight of the aircraft from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Paris Charles-de Gaulle Airport.

The Etihad A350-1000 features 371 seats, out of which 44 are lie-flat Business Class seats and 327 are standard Economy Class seats. Unlike many other airlines around the world including its neighbouring airline Emirates, Etihad has not opted to launch a Premium Economy product.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive, Etihad Airways, said:

The Airbus A350 is an absolutely incredible aircraft and we are proud to introduce it into the Etihad Airways network today. Our teams have worked closely together to craft a product and travel proposition that will ensure every journey with Etihad is a choice well made — both for our guests and for the planet.

Mikail Houari, President of Airbus – Africa and Middle East, said:

This marks the start of a promising new chapter for the UAE’s aviation sector, led by innovation and a commitment to sustainability.

Business Class

Etihad has opted to go for the Super Diamond seats, the same type of seat you will find on many airlines such as on the British Airways’ A350-1000 and Qatar Airways’ A350-900, A380s and B787s. While it’s the same common seat, Etihad has some very nice customised features.

The Business Class cabin is arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving every passenger direct aisle access. The window seats are oriented towards the windows which is great for those who enjoy the view. All the suites feature a sliding door for added privacy.

The paired middle seats are angled towards one another, with a sliding privacy screen which can be lowered if you are travelling with a companion.

The seat is 20 inches (51 centimetres) wide, flanked by leather-clad armrests in the same dark chocolate brown as the leather headrest. The seat can be converted into a 79 inch (2 metres) bed. A small touchscreen panel just ahead of one armrest adjusts the seat and includes three quick presets for takeoff or landing, a reclined ‘lazy Z’ lounge mode and the fully flat sleeping position.

There’s a 18.5 inch inflight entertainment screen with the tray table extending from under the screen. Passengers will also be able to pair their own headphones with the system via Bluetooth.

The marble-effect shelf next to each seat contains two storage sections, large enough for passengers to stow items such as reading glasses, a passport wallet etc. A tall LED lamp mounted on a side-panel above the shelf serves as illumination around the suite. Also, there’s a dedicated LED reading light. Etihad has opted to have Airbus remove the luggage bins above the middle seats, making the cabin feel much more roomier, spacious and open.

An AC power socket, USB-A and USB-C ports and a wireless charger are also available in the seat. The Etihad A350 also features onboard WiFi.

About 16 million different colours allow for customisable LED lighting across the aircraft that can simulate different times of day, allowing the aircraft to mimic sunrise or sunset and help minimise the effect of jet lag on passengers.

Take a look at the Etihad A350’s Business Class:

Beautiful Economy Class

The Economy Cabin is arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. There are 45 “Economy Space” seats, which are basically standard Economy seats but with 4 inches of additional legroom.

Etihad says the seat was selected following extensive customer trials, based on comfort and sustainability metrics. The seats feature Etihad’s signature supportive headrest, with an ‘ear’ at one side that gives additional side support to the head, aiding sleep and adding a sense of privacy. The experience is enhanced with blankets, pillows and amenity kits on longer flights.

The seat features a 13.3 inch inflight entertainment screen, one of the biggest found in Economy Class in any airline. It also features USB charging port and Bluetooth headphone pairing. Across both Business and Economy class, a new dark-mode interface has been added to the E-BOX IFE system to help reduce light pollution, which works with the cabin lighting schemes to aid sleep and help prevent jetlag.

Young flyers on Etihad will be kept entertained and quiet by the newly launched Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi themed family-friendly flying experience. The experience includes a special feature on the A350: an interactive flight map feature with Jurassic-age friends who will help children explore the maps.

Take a look at the Etihad A350’s Economy Class:

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The first A350-1000

The first Etihad A350-1000, registered A6-XWB, has been named Sustainability50, with a unique livery in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the federation of the UAE and Etihad’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Formed as a partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainability50 programme will see Etihad’s A350s used as flying testbeds of new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions, building on the learnings derived from Etihad’s similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing B787 aircraft type.

The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered A350 is one of the most efficient aircraft types in the world, with 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions than some previous-generation twin-aisle aircraft.

Etihad recently established a formal framework with Airbus to collaborate on sustainability across a number of areas including the promotion and commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel, waste and weight management, and the development of data-driven analysis.

Douglas said:

We designed our sustainability programme as a vehicle for collaboration, and our strategic partnership with Airbus allows us to harness the sustainability credentials of the A350 through the Sustainability50 programme, as we work towards our joint objectives to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment. The Airbus A350 is an absolutely incredible aircraft, and we are proud to introduce it into the Etihad Airways network today. Our teams have worked closely together to craft a product and travel proposition that will ensure every journey with Etihad is a choice well made – both for our guests and for the planet. With highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, the A350 will support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests.

Etihad A350’s first routes

Although Etihad operated the inaugural A350 flight to Paris, it was just a one-off service. Paris will not see the Etihad A350 on a scheduled basis. Instead, the Etihad A350s will operate flights to the following destinations :

  • Mumbai: daily between 1st April and 30th June 2022
  • Istanbul: daily between 1st April and 30th June 2022
  • Jeddah: 6-weekly between 3rd April and 30th June 2022
  • Delhi: daily between 30th April and 30th June 2022
  • Cairo: 4-weekly between 2nd May and 30th June 2022

Etihad has also announced that the A350 will enter long haul service as of July 2022, with Chicago and New York JFK being two of the first destinations. The detailed schedule of the A350 beyond June 2022 has not been updated yet.

Meanwhile, Etihad recently announced new summer seasonal flights to Nice, France.

Featured image by Etihad Airways

All the other images by Etihad Airways

What do you think of Etihad’s Airbus A350? Are you excited the try out the new products? Let me know in the comments section below.

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