The A380 is a very special aircraft. Some of us know it as a superjumbo, or even “the double decker”, but Etihad has taken an amazing plane and created something incredibly luxurious. We’ve featured The Residence before – the airline’s luxurious three-room suite – and the service has now been made available on the mammoth Melbourne-Abu Dhabi and Melbourne-London routes – for a staggering price of almost US$80,000 for a return journey. The inaugural flight will be succeeded by a twice daily service between the UAE and Australia and the superjumbo replaces one of the three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft currently deployed on the route.
The 125 square-foot Residence is unique to Etihad Airways and is located on the forward upper deck of the A380 and is available for single or double occupancy. The set-up comprises a living room, separate en-suite shower room and a double bedroom. The two TVs include a 32” LCD monitor in the living room and a separate 24” version in the bedroom and there’s a personal butler, trained at the world-renowned Savoy Butler Academy in London, dedicated to attending guests’ needs. An on-board chef is also available for a bespoke dining experience.
“With Melbourne joining our A380 network, Australia is the only country in our global network with daily A380 services to two cities – Melbourne and Sydney,” said Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways SVP of marketing. “Deploying our latest technology aircraft and class-leading product and service to Australia recognises its importance to our business and the strong demand from Australian travellers for premium travel experiences.”
There’s a total of nine First Apartments in First Class – private living spaces that feature a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman, upholstered in the finest quality Poltrona Frau leather. The ottoman opens up to become a separate 80.5” long fully flat bed. In addition, each First Apartment has a 24” LCD TV monitor, a chilled mini bar and personal vanity unit. A fully equipped shower room is available for the exclusive use of First Apartment guests. Then there’s also 70 Business Studios located on the upper deck of the aircraft, all offering direct aisle access and fully lie-flat beds.