Etihad Plans Airbus A321s With Flat Mattress Enterprise Class

Right here’s one thing that’s information to me — Etihad Airways plans to take supply of some model new Airbus A321LRs subsequent yr, that includes flat mattress seats in enterprise class. Let’s cowl what we learn about this improvement (because of AnishReddi for flagging this).

Etihad needs to fly 30-40 Airbus A321LRs

aeroTELEGRAPH has an interview with Etihad CEO Antonoaldo Neves, the place he shares the corporate’s fleet technique over the approaching years.

For some background, Etihad’s fleet technique has utterly modified over time. A decade in the past, Etihad needed to turn into the scale of Emirates, and ordered principally each kind of aircraft on planet earth. After dropping many billions of {dollars}, the airline modified course, and tried to shrink into profitability. Now that this has been achieved, the airline is as a substitute making an attempt to develop, however in a extra sustainable method.

My level is just to say that it may be arduous to maintain observe of Etihad’s fleet plans. For instance, in keeping with Boeing, Etihad nonetheless has 25 Boeing 777Xs on order, whereas in keeping with Etihad’s CEO, these contracts have been restructured, and that’s not the case.

Equally, in 2013, Etihad positioned an order for 26 Airbus A321neos, however up till now, the airline hasn’t taken supply of any of those manufacturing unit contemporary jets, because the order has been deferred. As an alternative, Etihad is within the technique of taking supply of six used A321neos, which briefly flew for Bamboo Airways.

However there’s a main replace on the subject of Etihad’s fleet plans for the A321neo household of plane, past those being acquired secondhand. Based on Etihad’s CEO:

  • Etihad has ordered A321LRs straight from Airbus, which is the longer vary model of the A321neo (although not as lengthy vary because the A321XLR)
  • Etihad needs to ultimately fly 30-40 Airbus A321LRs, and the primary plane will begin to be a part of Etihad’s fleet in 2025
  • Etihad’s strategic intent with Airbus A321LRs is to fly them in markets which might be thinner, and the place extra frequencies are required; Etihad needs to give attention to working no less than each day service between metropolis pairs, so the airline couldn’t fly a 777 each day between Abu Dhabi and Good, however would possibly be capable of fly an A321LR

For context, Etihad presently has a slim physique fleet consisting of 23 Airbus A320-family plane, together with 14 A320s and 9 A321s. That’s along with the six former Bamboo Airways jets becoming a member of the service’s fleet.

Etihad’s present Airbus A321 enterprise class

Etihad’s A321LRs may have flat beds in enterprise class

What ought to passengers anticipate onboard Etihad’s manufacturing unit contemporary Airbus A321LRs? Nicely, Etihad plans to put in flat beds on all of those newly delivered jets. That’s thrilling, since presently Etihad doesn’t have flat beds on any slim physique plane.

The corporate’s CEO has even revealed the deliberate configuration for the jets. Etihad’s A321LRs are anticipated to function a complete of 160 seats, comprised of:

  • 16 absolutely flat enterprise class seats, of which two shall be on the very entrance of the cabin, providing much more area
  • 144 economic system class seats

Whereas actual particulars of the product haven’t but been introduced, I’d be prepared to wager good cash on the product that Etihad will introduce. JetBlue’s Airbus A321neos with Mint cabins (to not be confused with the Airbus A321LRs) have precisely the identical configuration. They’ve 16 enterprise class seats (two of that are particular), plus 144 economic system seats.

Very like on JetBlue, I think about that Etihad will choose the Thompson Aero VantageSOLO product in enterprise class, which is a herringbone seat with a door, and is proving fashionable for premium slim physique plane. Under you may see what the JetBlue Mint Suite appears like (the usual enterprise class seat).

JetBlue Mint Suite enterprise class
JetBlue Mint Suite enterprise class

Under you may see what the JetBlue Mint Studio appears like (the particular enterprise class seat within the first row).

JetBlue Mint Studio enterprise class
JetBlue Mint Studio enterprise class

This can be a implausible improvement, in the event you ask me. At the moment, Etihad’s slim physique plane are operated virtually solely on shorter flights, and actually have fairly an uncompetitive product in each cabins. On some routes, Etihad operates each slim physique and huge physique plane, an the distinction is night time and day. So I’m glad to see the airline shall be providing extra of a protracted haul expertise on these jets.

Backside line

Etihad shall be properly elevating its slim physique passenger expertise as of 2025, when Airbus A321LRs be a part of the service’s fleet. Etihad plans to put in 160 seats on these planes, together with 16 absolutely flat enterprise class seats, plus 144 economic system seats. My cash is on Etihad having precisely the identical configuration as JetBlue’s A321neos, however I could possibly be off. I’m wanting ahead to studying extra…

What do you make of Etihad’s Airbus A321LR plans?

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