Etihad Airways' new Business Studio business class designs for its Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 fleet represent a radical departure from just about anything that business class travellers have experienced before.
Designed as a space where travellers can 'work, rest and play', the suite-style enclosures are arranged in a 1-2-1 'dovetail' configuration so that every passenger has direct access to the aisle.
The centre studios are ideal for guests travelling together but have a full height screen between the seats if you value privacy over sociability, and at meal times, there's a sturdy 16" x 18" dining table:
The suite has a 22 inch wide seat and separate ottoman, which together form a lie-flat bed up to 80.5 inches (2.04 metres) long.
Each passengers gets a side table for parking their laptop, tablet, books and other items.
There's also plenty of storage with room beneath the ottoman for carry-on items and shoes, plus a generous top-loading cupboard for water bottles, headphones, books, Kindles and the like.
Lighting options include an elegant side lamp, a reading lamp and mood lighting.
The inflight entertainment system is powered by Panasonic's EX3 platform complemented by touchscreen hand controllers which also act as a 'second screen', plus noise-cancelling headphones with magnetic audio jacks.
Also on tap is inflight Internet via Etihad's own Wi-Fly system.
Etihad's Airbus A380 will have 70 Business Studios located on the upper deck, while the Boeing 787-9 will sport 28 Business Studios.
Etihad President and CEO James Hogan told Australian Business Traveller that the Business Studios would also be installed on all new Boeing 777s being delivered from next year, and also retrofitted to current Boeing 777s.
The A380 Business Studios have been designed for Etihad by seatmaker EADS Sogerma, while Zodiac Aerospace crafted the Boeing 787 version.
On the A380, Business Studio guests also have access to The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar located between the first and business class cabins.
The Business Studios will debut on Etihad's Airbus A380 superjumbo, which makes its inaugural flight to London in December this year, and the Boeing 787-9 which will run from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf from December, with Washington DC and Mumbai to follow in January 2015.
- Etihad reveals first routes for Airbus A380, Boeing 787
- Etihad's new Airbus A380 first class suites
- Etihad's new economy class seats
Australian Business Traveller is visiting Abu Dhabi as a guest of Etihad Airways.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.