Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has a new business class seat on board its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, which leaked out at the Dubai Airshow via a video posted on Twitter, and which Collins Aerospace has confirmed to Runway Girl Network is its Super Diamond doored mini-suite.
الشيخ أحمد بن سعيد آل مكتوم الرئيس الأعلى الرئيس التنفيذي لـ #طيران_الإمارات والمجموعة، برفقة السيد/ توني دوغلاس الرئيس التنفيذي لمجموعة #الإتحاد_للطيران يطلعان على مقصورة ومنتجات أحدث طائرات #الإتحاد_للطيران طراز الإيرباص #A350 على هامش #معرض_دبي_للطيران_2021 pic.twitter.com/KkitedhW0G
— سالم بن تميم الريامي (@salim_bin_tamim) November 14, 2021
The video appears to show chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Group, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and other dignitaries being briefed on the business class seat while seated in the cabin, between doors 1 and 2 aboard the Etihad Airbus A350-1000.
Etihad appears to have received a total of five A350s, all the larger -1000 model, which were delivered in 2019 and 2020, then stored. This is the first time that the new business class seat has broken cover.
Collins Aerospace spokesperson Joel Girdner confirmed to Runway Girl Network that the product is Super Diamond. Indeed, it bears all the shape and ergonomic hallmarks of the popular Collins variant with suite doors, which has previously been seen as the British Airways Club Suite product that also launched aboard the A350.
Much of the design language of the seat variant is a continuation of the previous generation of Etihad design language, with the beige thermoplastics, deep chocolate leather headrests, a deeper than previous brown fabric and a new version of the glowing side lamp with the ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ pattern.
Overall, the product appears to be a fairly stock version of the Collins seat, as opposed to its immediate predecessor, Etihad’s custom, forwards-backwards staggered Business Studio product, revealed in 2014 at a glitzy global media launch event in a blacked-out hangar in Abu Dhabi alongside new uniforms and two new aircraft.
The Business Studio was manufactured by Airbus subsidiary Sogerma (now Stelia) for the Airbus A380 upper deck and by Zodiac Aerospace (now Safran Seats) for the Boeing 787, which itself succeeded the Sogerma Solstys staggered seat on earlier airframes including the Boeing 777 and Airbus A340.
On the current seat, the side table surfaces have a stone marbling effect, one of which — closest to the usual large widescreen inflight entertainment monitor — is marked with what appears to be a wireless charging symbol, suggesting that wireless charging has been provisioned.
The seats are herringbones, arranged in the out-in-in-out pattern, where window seats point towards the window and centre seats point towards each other. The centre seats are separated by a wall at the same height as the rest of the suite, with a gap that looks like it can be filled with a sliding divider.
Doors to the suites appear to slide forwards in the usual Super Diamond way, while the telltale tag of a shoulder belt suggests that this is, once again, how the head injury criterion and neck injury element of safety certification have been achieved for this seat.
The front and back of the cabin have relatively restrained branding, with just the airline’s name and logo — no full-wall wood-effect here, for sure. Etihad has also chosen to eschew the centre set of overhead bins in the interest of a more spacious cabin, leaving essentially one of the side overhead bins between two passengers.
Soft product looks to include an updated, larger and squashier version of the ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ triangle pattern cushion, in all-white with gold lines.
Overall, the product is elegant, stylish and modern, and the addition of privacy doors will be very welcome, while the addition of options like the lamp will make it interesting to see up close what differences Etihad has specified from the standard and existing stock doored Super Diamond seats.
- Inside herringbones: Elements of Super Diamond as Collins seats evolve
- Designing regulation to enable seat safety and innovation
- Etihad undertakes extensive MRO program amid coronavirus pandemic
- British Airways, Collins to revise Club Suite emergency door mechanism
- How Etihad uses cabin lighting as subtle destination marketing
- Etihad doesn’t see need for Premium Economy on A380s, 787s
- If you liked it, then you (should) have put a door on it
Featured image credited to Dylan Agbagni (CC0) from Bordeaux, France, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons