Etihad Debuts Armani / Casa Business Class Amenities

Etihad Debuts Armani / Casa Business Class Amenities

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For weeks, Etihad has been teasing a big announcement. Today we’ve learned the details — while this is ultimately a positive development, it was way (way, way, way) overhyped.

New Etihad & Armani / Casa partnership

As part of a new collaboration between Etihad Airways and designer Giorgio Armani, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will be introducing Armani / Casa amenities in first & business class.

This is being called “The Constellation Collection,” as the design is inspired by the stars, with a geometric pattern that adorns the collection. You can expect this to debut on flights as of December 2022. Etihad is marketing its new product offering as being “Beyond Business.”

Etihad & Armani / Casa have a new collaboration

The new collection includes a new dining service featuring ceramics, glassware, cutlery, and serving ware, as well as premium textiles. On top of that, there’s new bedding from Armani / Casa. Guests on longer flights can also receive a new memory foam mattress.

Etihad is really hyping how these new service items reflect the UAE (everyone can decide for themselves if this seems accurate, or the airline is grasping at straws):

“The dining service features refined silhouettes with elevated contemporary finishes, mixed materials and embossed patterns. The use of multiple textures represents the cultural diversity of the UAE. The colour palette reflects the surroundings of Abu Dhabi; dark green inspired by the region’s date palm trees, aquamarine representing the beauty of the mangroves and slate to symbolise the modernity of the iconic Abu Dhabi skyline.”

Below you can see some pictures and a video of the new Armani / Casa amenities that will soon be available on Etihad flights.

Etihad’s new Armani / Casa dining service
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa dining service
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa glassware
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa tableware
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa tableware
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa salt & pepper
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa coffee service
Etihad’s new Armani / Casa bedding

This looks like a nice soft product improvement

Credit where credit’s due, the new service items, and this collaboration in general, sound great. This all looks elegant and high-end, and the bedding looks comfortable.

Etihad has gone through some phases as an airline. Etihad had its 2015 phase, which was probably the peak as far as passenger experience goes, though the airline was lighting billions of dollars on fire annually.

Etihad has had a nice turnaround, while trying to be more sustainable, and it has worked. The airline has done this while maintaining a solid premium cabin experience. For example, Etihad recently introduced the Airbus A350-1000, featuring an all-new business class.

Etihad’s Airbus A350 business class

Etihad’s new tableware and bedding looks very good for business class. I’ve been planning to fly Etihad’s A350, so I guess I’ll be waiting until December, so that I can experience the new service. I’m sure it will be a great experience. In fairness, Etihad already had a pretty solid soft product, so ultimately I’d consider these changes to be pretty incremental.

All that being said…

This has been a huge marketing fail

It’s sad how what’s objectively a positive development and nice improvement has been overhyped to the point that it takes away from what’s being announced.

For weeks Etihad has been teasing a big announcement coming, with all kinds of clues. People understandably expected this to be a game-changing announcement. After all, when airlines hype announcements for a long time, it’s usually something significant. The airline even flew in media from around the globe for this event, which was hosted by Etihad CEO Tony Douglas.

And it was all just to reveal some new pillows and coffee cups? I mean, we talk about phone calls that could have been emails, but what about flying people halfway around the world for something that could have been an email?

I almost never attend media events, though I can’t help but think that if I did, I’d feel disrespected and like my time was wasted.

I guess some media people are in it for a free trip, but I’d assume a major motivation for many media folks going to events is being able to interview executives about huge developments before other people have the chance to. I don’t think that really applies here? I mean, personally I’d love to ask Douglas about whether he’s leaving Etihad and moving to Saudi Arabia, rather than his favorite sleeping position on Etihad’s new memory foam mattress.

I hope the media people that attended were warned in advance that this wasn’t actually much of an announcement. Otherwise I hope they were happy to just get a free trip out of it.

Douglas even referenced during the press conference how over the past couple of weeks everyone at headquarters enjoyed seeing the online speculation about what was being announced. Sorry we assumed the airline had something major to reveal. 😉

Lastly, the “Beyond Business” branding seems a bit much. Am I interpreting this right, and that Etihad is suggesting that its business class is “beyond” business class (in other words, more like first class)? I love you Etihad, but you have British Airways’ business class seat with fancier forks and knives. That doesn’t make it first class. And airlines like Qatar Airways and All Nippon Airways do still exist, so…

Bottom line

Etihad has launched a new collaboration with Armani / Casa. As of December, you can expect new tableware and bedding in premium cabins on Etihad flights. This collaboration sounds great, though I can’t help but feel like my takeaway from all of this is just disappointment about how much this was hyped. Meanwhile if this had just been an email that slipped into my inbox this afternoon, I’d say “awesome, well done!”

What do you make of Etihad’s new Armani / Casa announcement?

Conversations (35)
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  1. Nicholas Guest

    The old adage applies : Under promise and over deliver. But they have introduced elegant, simple and very stylish products. All very Armani. Etihad is a great airline, so flying A350 with this service should be even better. But, cut the PR hype please!

  2. Tortuga Diamond

    At this point in my life, I'm just happy that I have salt cellar kindred aloft. Who knew?

  3. Nightliner Guest

    They could have saved a ton of money by just going with IKEA.

  4. Ian Guest

    Basically Etihad is introducing cockery designed for residents of an assisted living facility.

  5. K4 Guest

    Everyone has seriously missed the point here.

    Armani Casa products are ultra premium on the level of Baccarat crystal or Lalique sculptures.

    No, SQ’s Lalique perfume isn’t on the same level at all. Lalique aren’t know for perfume and Pyjamas, what SQ did was just odd. Lalique are know for their sculptural art items, not clothes and perfume.

    When you look at the top end, things like Armani Casa items make a huge...

    Everyone has seriously missed the point here.

    Armani Casa products are ultra premium on the level of Baccarat crystal or Lalique sculptures.

    No, SQ’s Lalique perfume isn’t on the same level at all. Lalique aren’t know for perfume and Pyjamas, what SQ did was just odd. Lalique are know for their sculptural art items, not clothes and perfume.

    When you look at the top end, things like Armani Casa items make a huge difference.

    Even if the pre promotions didn’t make sense to the mainstream, this is the only airline offering a super premium collaboration, as they did with Cipriani Bellinis, no other airlines is doing things like this, and it just goes to show that Etihad understands the truly rich,

    Dom Perignon and Cristal are for new money, Cirpiani and Armani Casa just reach a very different market.

    The fact that this is not just in F but J also really goes to show EY know what real monied people want.

  6. iamhere Guest

    The branded products and how nice or simple they are is not a reason for choosing an airline. Most people would not pay more for it.

  7. Etihad Better Have a Good Promotion and soon Guest

    And that is suppose to get me excited?

  8. glenn t Diamond

    I like Armani stuff and think it all looks great. Not worth the massive teaser hype though. That sort of thing is best left to His Excellency over at Qatar.
    Would like to see the full contents of the amenity kits in this age of minimalism/costcutting. Could be great but not holding my breath.
    (Singapore Business now has a bare-bones kit, with dental things in a drawer in the lav, with other necessities...

    I like Armani stuff and think it all looks great. Not worth the massive teaser hype though. That sort of thing is best left to His Excellency over at Qatar.
    Would like to see the full contents of the amenity kits in this age of minimalism/costcutting. Could be great but not holding my breath.
    (Singapore Business now has a bare-bones kit, with dental things in a drawer in the lav, with other necessities like earplugs, hairbrush/comb and sleepmask available "on request" from your FA. PJs for a 13 hr flight? Sorry. For a 7hr midnight departure? Sorry again. How the mighty have fallen!)

  9. Henry Guest

    I thought Etihad was joining Star Alliance... Gosh

  10. Weymar Osborne Gold

    Had they done this any other way the reaction they would have gotten is "Ooh, Etihad is introducing Armani amenities", but they went for the only approach that could result in people going "Aww, Etihad is introducing Armani amenities".

  11. Bill n DC Gold

    Great work. This Post is first after paid links on Google. I’ll post picture on Twitter

    Hubby rolled his eyes when I showed him the photo. He knows how much I’ll want to be gifted a new nut ramakin and small rectangle plate & small round bowl. Did I mention the Champagne Flute

    Might be a couple years. Qatar catching my eye now. And need Abu Dhabi museums besides beautiful Louvre (visit 4x) to...

    Great work. This Post is first after paid links on Google. I’ll post picture on Twitter

    Hubby rolled his eyes when I showed him the photo. He knows how much I’ll want to be gifted a new nut ramakin and small rectangle plate & small round bowl. Did I mention the Champagne Flute

    Might be a couple years. Qatar catching my eye now. And need Abu Dhabi museums besides beautiful Louvre (visit 4x) to open

    Got great Park Hyatt Prive stay from Toby at Ford’s service.

    Good work again for Google Ranking!!

  12. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The only disappointment is from those that jumped onto the hype knowing that there was a good chance that whatever was announced would disappointment.
    Instead of spending energy trying to guess what might have been, why not just wait for the announcement.

    You fool me once....

  13. LEo Diamond

    Isn't this a similar design to those nordic infused cutleries that one could get an IKEA anywhere around the world?

  14. Donna Diamond

    Italian: Molto rumore per niente.
    Translation: a lot of noise for nothing.

  15. Bill n DC Gold

    Very stylish!
    I now have 6 of the current nut ramekins. Enough! (Wink) One for each flight

  16. bruh Guest

    f in the chats for my homies who thought the A380 was getting revived

  17. Utkarsh Soni Guest

    I may not be an expert. But my local bed bath & beyond has similar looking collection. May be spirit can partner with them and name it “beyond basic economy” . And here i thought they would be join star alliance.

    1. Randall Scanlon Guest

      And then the Spirit pilot bends you over his knee and thrashes you to within an inch of your life, his firm unwavering paw going to town like a bear beating a particularly seductive salmon tail, night becomes light as you atone for his imagined grievances and his most primal urges for dominance are satiated between two IAE-v2500 engines that clap like the wrinkly kiwis against now bruised cheek.

  18. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

    This is very nice, very refreshing and refined, don’t get me wrong. But cmon man, all that Bru ha ha for this?? IMHO the credibility and strength of this carrier is forever tarnished. Whoever is there PR agency should be terminated immediately!

  19. albert Guest

    What are considered "longer flights"?

  20. Terence Guest

    A serious contender for Skytrax 6-start rating. LH are facing real competition now!

  21. ben holz Guest

    well, what else to expect from a middle eastern airline that has its days numbered?

  22. Never In Doubt Guest

    Speak for yourselves.

    I, for one, make all my international travel decisions based on pillow & blanket options.

  23. BA from BWI Guest

    I thought this would have something to do with the transfer of ownership of the Etihad Aviation Group to one of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds, ADQ. I think the goal is to offer an integrated aviation product under ADQ.

  24. Roberto Guest

    Excellent work by the Etihad marketing team - all this publicity, just for spending a few dollars on some soap! Which will presumably be offset by the few people who take pets with them, which has been (with less pomp and intrigue) increased from $200 to $1500. How many of this marketing team will be moving to SIA I wonder?

  25. Sean M. Diamond

    Maybe there is another announcement coming on the 19th? And this was the diversion? A double bluff! Intrigue...

    1. Ned Member

      I'm clinging to this, otherwise my confidence is shattered.

  26. Up Up & Away Member

    I assume that the amenity kit is a major factor in the Skytax ratings!

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      Oooo, Lufthansa better watch out with their new (to them) J product and their middling F product that's been around for years but happens to be dark blue instead.

  27. John T Guest

    Well that was disappointing. Etihad already have a good business class product - new plates and bedding isn't going to make much difference. They have far bigger issues to focus on like fleet planning and a profitable route network.

    Imagine going all the way to Abu Dhabi to look at some new bowls and cushions lol.

  28. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    To be really fair to Etihad, good amenities do separate an okay business class product from a really good one. No, it wasn't that exciting, but we're talking an upgrade from e.g. Lufthansa business class to Turkish business class.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alvin | YTHK -- Oh I totally agree, and I'll have more of my thoughts on these amenities soon. They look nice. But the marketing and hype around this has been ABSURD, and was bound to lead to disappointment. I mean, look at Etihad's clues in retrospect.

      "We trust the stars to define our journey. A new constellation will soon adorn the skies."

      What kind of word vomit is this for new blankets and glasses?

    2. Ned Member

      Maybe their corporate astrologer told them this was a good idea.

  29. Kendall Sconce Guest

    This is a bamboozle of the highest caliber

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Alvin | YTHK -- Oh I totally agree, and I'll have more of my thoughts on these amenities soon. They look nice. But the marketing and hype around this has been ABSURD, and was bound to lead to disappointment. I mean, look at Etihad's clues in retrospect. "We trust the stars to define our journey. A new constellation will soon adorn the skies." What kind of word vomit is this for new blankets and glasses?

6
Weymar Osborne Gold

Had they done this any other way the reaction they would have gotten is "Ooh, Etihad is introducing Armani amenities", but they went for the only approach that could result in people going "Aww, Etihad is introducing Armani amenities".

5
Sean M. Diamond

Maybe there is another announcement coming on the 19th? And this was the diversion? A double bluff! Intrigue...

4
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