Etihad Airways has crowned a momentous 2015 by collecting the coveted ‘World’s Leading Airline’ award for the seventh consecutive year at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2015 in Morocco.
The airline also picked up the awards for World’s Leading First Class, World’s Leading Inflight Entertainment and World’s Leading Cabin Crew.
The four awards end a remarkable year for Etihad Airways, which saw the entry into service of its flagship Airbus A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and the introduction of its new livery and uniform.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Once again, Etihad Airways’ commitment to reimagining flying earned us some of the industry’s highest accolades, including World’s Leading Airline for the seventh year in a row. This is a great reward for the monumental efforts all of us at Etihad Airways have put into making our young and progressive company a global leader of innovation, hospitality and style.”
Graham E. Cooke, World Travel Awards Founder and President, said: “It is a tremendous honour for us to present the trophy for World’s Leading Airline to Etihad Airways for an incredible seventh consecutive year. Our international voters have recognised the United Arab Emirates’ flag-carrier’s commitment to luxurious travel and acknowledged Etihad’s ambition to redefine how airlines operate in the 21st century.”
The awards cap off a successful month for Etihad Airways. On 4 December, the airline was awarded the highly prized Air Transport World (ATW) ‘Airline of the year 2016’ award, widely considered one of the most coveted accolades in the airline industry. Other recent accolades include Best First Class and Best Long Haul Airline Middle-East and Africa at the AirlineRatings.com 2016 Airline Excellence Awards; Best First Class Product by Ultratravel U.S.A. readers in the 2015 Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards (ULTRAs); and Best Airline – Business Class by TTG Travel Awards 2015.
World’s Leading Airline – First Class
The First Class cabin on Etihad Airways’ A380 boasts nine First Apartments – unique living spaces, which, at 39 square feet in area, are 74 per cent larger than the airline’s current award-winning First Class suites. They feature a Poltrona Frau leather armchair and a separate ottoman which converts into a full-length 80.5 inch long bed. A dedicated shower room is available for the exclusive use of First Class guests.
The B787 Dreamliners are equipped with eight private First Suites in a unique curved aisle setting, an airline industry first, with a 10 per cent increase in personal space. The forward and aft facing suites feature a large Poltrona Frau leather armchair which converts into an 80.5 inch fully flat bed. The suites feature 24 inch TV monitors, large dining tables for dual dining, personal wardrobes and privacy doors.
Inspired by the world’s best hotels and restaurants, Etihad Airways’ First Class service includes a personalised welcome letter from the Cabin Manager and an elegant reception with a drink of choice, fragrant hot towel, and traditional Arabic coffee service served with dates, presented on a silver platter.
First Class dining features a contemporary menu complemented by a selection of canapés, a palate cleanser served between appetiser and entrée, a pre-dessert course served by the Chef, coffee and tea from the ‘Café Gourmand’ brand accompanied by mini biscuits, cakes and pastries.
Guests can choose from an extensive haute cuisine a la Carte menu, or can select steaks and sides from The Grill menu, complemented by a choice of side dishes and sauces, and can also choose delicious meals and snacks throughout the flight from the All Day Dine menu.
The onboard Chefs, many of whom hail from fine dining establishments around the world including some Michelin Star restaurants, are provided with an onboard pantry of fresh ingredients including proteins and vegetables. These talented crew members can discuss made-to-order requests with the guest and prepare a bespoke dining experience tailored to their palate. A Chef is available in First Class on every Etihad Airways flight.
Fine wines from the Etihad Airways onboard cellar are served in crystal glasses, created for Etihad Airways by Lucaris. A special XO Cognac service is provided featuring signature glasses designed by Norman of Copenhagen.
First Class bedding includes a luxurious all-natural mattress pad, duvet and pillow set, produced exclusively for Etihad Airways by COCO-MAT, widely regarded as the providers of the world’s best bedding. The First Class turndown service is accompanied by a ‘sweet dreams’ card, pillow mist, and aromatic pulse-point oil for the wrists.
Elegant loungewear is provided for comfort and relaxation, and guests are offered limited-edition Sougha amenity kits, inspired by the culture and colours of Abu Dhabi, and containing a selection of exclusive products by luxury New York-based brand, Le Labo.
World’s Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment
Etihad Airways has introduced its enhanced E-BOX personal entertainment offering which uses the cutting-edge Panasonic eX3 interactive system on its new fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft. The system provides hundreds of hours of on-demand entertainment, enhanced gaming, shopping and entertainment solutions, 3D moving maps, an Aeroreader document viewer, a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) dedicated to younger guests and high definition screens across all cabins.
The system has video touchscreen handsets, offering each guest in all cabins an additional screen for guests to maximise their entertainment, so they can play games or view the moving map while watching a movie. Guests travelling together can make use of a unique video share feature which allows them to view programming simultaneously and audio filtering which gives the guest the ability to filter audio options by preferred genre.
Etihad Airways is one of the few airlines in the world to offer fleet-wide inflight connectivity services through its Etihad Wi-Fly solution.
The airline’s Live TV service is available on 50 wide-body aircraft, bringing quality content from seven television channels including BBC World News, Sport 24 and CNN, the top three most viewed channels, and CNBC, euronews, Japan’s NHK World Premium, and Sky News Arabia.
World’s Leading Cabin Crew
Etihad Airways’ multi award-winning cabin crew hail from 118 nations around the world, giving the airline the advantage of having a harmonious, multi-cultural talent pool at its home base in Abu Dhabi, able to serve the needs of guests originating from all corners of the world.
Etihad Airways is the only airline to feature a multi-role complement of skilled cabin crew including the Savoy of London-trained Butlers serving the discerning clientele staying in The Residence aboard the airline’s A380 fleet, First Class Inflight Chefs, Business Class Food & Beverage Managers, Cabin Managers, Flight Attendants, and its renowned Norland College-trained Flying Nannies, who provide a helping hand to guests travelling with young children.