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The most exclusive premium first-class cabin returns to US air travel

'The Residence' costs upwards of $50,000.
  • The Etihad Airways Airbus A380 resumed flights to JFK Airport, New York, US yesterday
  • And its exclusive first-class air cabin, The Residence, is coming too
  • It has a living room, bedroom, and rare onboard shower

Published on Apr 23, 2024 at 7:39PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 25, 2024 at 6:58PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis
Etihad premium first-class cabin: The Residence'

The Etihad Airways Airbus A380 resumed flights to JFK Airport, New York, US yesterday – and it brought the most exclusive first-class air cabin in commercial aviation with it.

The re-inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to New York was announced back in November – it had last flown the route in 2020.

The Airbus A380 is the only passenger aircraft to have two full levels and ‘The Residence’ sits at the top.

READ MORE! The future of private jets: from emerging technologies and trends, the sky’s the limit

While sizeable, the Boeing 747, with its stunning interiors, only has an upper level towards the front of the aircraft.

We recently saw the mammoth Airbus A380 landing nearly sideways in a breathtaking maneuver.

A return trip in the Etihad first-class cabin, ‘The Residence’ costs in excess of $50,000.

Booking via the Etihad website for a mid-May flight between New York and Abu Dhabi, sees first-class flights priced between $9,000 and $10,000 each way.

Another $3,000 per leg is added for access to the Residence.

So what are you getting for the cost of your ticket?

The Etihad Airbus A380 boasts the world’s only three-room suite on a passenger plane, complete with a bedroom and shower.

Only available by upgrading a first-class ticket, the suite can accommodate up to two passengers and is located on the second level of the superjumbo.

The first space you come to via a sliding door to ensure privacy from the rest of the aircraft is the living room with a giant flatscreen television and a multi-person couch.

Here passengers can eat in luxury at the dining table on caviar, steak, champagne, and wine, or have the space converted for sleeping by staff.

However, the butler service previously on offer will not be returning.

Down the hall, you’ll find the private bathroom of The Residence complete with a shower – which is rare onboard airliners considering the weight of water.

The Emirates is the only other carrier offering this service.

Last of all you’ll come to the bedroom with a double bed – which is also a scarce commodity on airliners.

We previously covered the ‘world’s most exclusive seat’ aboard the Etihad Airbus A380.

Below the surface, it’s one of the few passenger aircraft in commercial aviation with four engines.

Yesterday, flight EY1 departed Abu Dhabi International Airport at 04:00 and touched down at JFK at 09:43 local time.

The route is operated by A6-API, a seven-year-old A380 delivered to Etihad in October 2016.

Etihad CEO, Antonoaldo Neves, was on the re-inaugural flight and made a statement.

“This is a very important flight for us… We have worked very hard to make sure that we can put this amazing product for you to enjoy it to the US, an extremely important market for us,” he said.

He added that the airline flies to New York, Chicago, and Boston, which was recently inaugurated.

This is despite the airline nearly retiring the quad-engine superjumbo during the pandemic.

The airline’s A380 flight to JFK is one of two daily to JFK, and the other flight is operated by the Boeing 787.

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