Etihad Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330-300, which is configured with the airline’s new first, business and economy cabins and probably has the lowest overall seating density of any A330-300 in commercial service.
The aircraft is the first of five new A330-300s the Abu Dhabi-based airline will receive during the next two years, and will be deployed between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. It carries 203 passengers: 12 in first class, 40 in business class and 151 in economy class.
“The delivery of a new aircraft is a great moment for an airline but the new A330-300 is special for Etihad because it is the first time our customers can experience our new product in all three cabins,” says James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive.
Etihad currently has two A340-600s configured with the new first class suite and the airline will retrofit by December 2010 nine A340s that are currently in service.
The new first class cabin contains 12 individual suites which offer more privacy, greater comfort and increased storage. Each seat extends to a fully-flat bed that is 80.5 inches in length and each private suite is accessed by its own sliding door.
Etihad has made a range of enhancements to its business class seat including greater personal stowage, the addition of USB/RCA/iPod connectors, a large and easily accessible cocktail table, 15.4-inch touch screen and mechanically operated center seat privacy divider.
The business class cabin on the A330-300 is 25 per cent larger than any other aircraft in Etihad’s wide body fleet. Its new economy class service offers a new interior finish to the cabin. Each seat has a 33-inch pitch with Poltrona Frau leather headrests and there is also a controller and power sockets underneath the 10.4-inch personal entertainment screen.
Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi . Etihad offers flights to more than 55 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia.