Put a three-room suite, including bathroom with shower, double bed, 32-inch LCD screen, and a London-trained butler on a commercial Airbus A380, and you are going to get a LOT of press.
So it goes with yesterday’s announcement that Etihad Airways is doing just that. A single, 125 square foot “Residence” will be located at the front of the upper level of Etihad’s Airbus A380s when delivered this December. In the next several years, the airline plans to offer the single ultra-luxe suite on flights to London, Paris, New York and Sydney from its base in Abu Dhabi. (I’ve heard rumors of another UAE carrier with eyes on SFO… we’ll just have to wait see if it’s Etihad!)
The “Residence” is so posh that it’s a level above first class. Etihad’s A380s will also have nine first class “Apartments” onboard, as well as 70 business class “Studios.” Even coach is getting cushy, offering 11-inch seatback video screens, noise canceling headsets and duvets.
Round trip fares for the Residence? Reportedly about $40,000 roundtrip between Abu Dhabi and London.