Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced a significant enhancement to its Abu Dhabi-Singapore route with the deployment of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from 1 August 2015.
The new B787 operation will follow a major upgrade for the route on 1 June, which includes the introduction of First Class and a change in schedule timings which provides better connections to the airline’s network via its Abu Dhabi hub.
Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “The new three-class aircraft – featuring the airline’s revolutionary First, Business and Economy Class cabins – and optimised flight schedule would greatly enhance the guest experience and bolster the airline’s position in the competitive Singapore travel market.”
“The new schedule timings – with evening departures in both directions – will offer guests in the UAE and Singapore more convenient travel times and improved connectivity to 35 destinations in the GCC, Middle East, Africa and Europe,” he added.
“Most importantly, from a guest experience perspective, the dimensions and unique features of the Dreamliner aircraft have enabled us to customise it with the most innovative and sophisticated cabins. This means, from 1 August, travellers between Abu Dhabi and Singapore will experience levels of comfort and attention to detail not enjoyed previously by today’s air traveller or offered by our competitors on the route,” he concluded.
Etihad Airways’ revolutionary new B787 interiors feature eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, offering superior levels of comfort, entertainment and in-flight connectivity. On-board décor and lighting is inspired by contemporary modern Arabian design, complementing the ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ design identity introduced by the airline in late 2014.
First Class guests will enjoy an enhanced suite with a chilled mini-bar, complete privacy and centre seats which can be joined to create a double bed. Business Class guests will have the space and comfort of the airline’s new Business Studios each offering direct aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches in length. In the Economy Class cabin, the innovative Economy Smart Seat provides enhanced comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat.
Etihad Airways’ order for two variants of the B787 (-9 and -10), is one of the world’s largest for the type, totalling 71 aircraft. The airline currently operates the B787-9 to Washington DC and Mumbai, and from June 1, to Düsseldorf and Brisbane, with more destinations being added as it takes delivery of more of the type. The airline will also begin taking delivery of B787s in a two-class configuration from 2016.
The wide-body Boeing 787-9 is a stretched version of the advanced medium to long-range twin engine B787-8, with a range of up to 8,300 nautical miles and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85. It is 206 feet in length and has a wingspan of 197 feet.
Etihad Airways commenced three weekly flights to Singapore on September 28, 2007 and went daily on February 1, 2013.