Details: New Etihad Boeing 787 Business Class Suite

Details: New Etihad Boeing 787 Business Class Suite

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In early 2023, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to introduce a new business class seat, which is debuting on newly delivered Boeing 787s. It’s not just business class getting a refresh, as there are also new economy seats, as well as improved Wi-Fi.

There’s now an exciting update — while we still don’t know exactly when this aircraft will enter service, Etihad took delivery of its first of these jets this week, so I imagine it will have its first passenger flight soon. Let’s go over all the details of Etihad’s latest and greatest Dreamliners.

New Etihad 787 business class seats

Going forward, Etihad Airways is installing the new Collins Aerospace Elements seat on newly delivered Boeing 787s. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier still has around 30 Boeing 787s on order, including 787-9s and 787-10s. However, so far it has only been confirmed that 787-9s will be getting these seats.

For context, Etihad’s Boeing 787s currently feature the Business Studio, which is a solid staggered configuration with seats that alternate between being forward and rear facing.

Etihad’s current Boeing 787 business class

Meanwhile Etihad also started flying Airbus A350s, featuring Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats. These are reverse herringbone seats with doors.

Etihad’s new Airbus A350 business class

Starlux Airlines was the launch customer for the new Collins Aerospace Elements seat, for its Airbus A350s. I had the chance to try this product, and it’s exceptional, among my favorite business class seats out there. So while Etihad isn’t the launch customer for the product, it is the first airline to install these on Boeing 787s.

These seats are also in a reverse herringbone configuration, and feature privacy doors. For all practical purposes, think of the future delivery 787s as featuring an upgraded version of the new A350 business class. What makes this new seat better is that it feels quite a bit more spacious than previous generation reverse herringbone seats.

Etihad’s new Boeing 787-9s boast 32 of these seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seats recline into 78″ flat beds, and have 17.3″ 4K TV screens, bluetooth headphone pairing, multiple charging ports (including wireless charging), plenty of storage, and higher privacy doors than before.

Below you can find pictures of Etihad’s new business class seats (I believe the first three are real pictures, while the last two are renderings).

New Etihad Boeing 787 business class seats
New Etihad Boeing 787 business class seats
New Etihad Boeing 787 business class seat
New Etihad Boeing 787 business class seats
New Etihad Boeing 787 business class seat

New Etihad 787 economy class seats

Etihad’s new Boeing 787-9 deliveries don’t just feature new business class seats, but also feature new economy class seats. Etihad’s Boeing 787-9s feature 271 economy class seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Etihad highlights how the new seats are lighter in weight than the previous generation seats, and therefore help with fuel economy. Furthermore, the seats have a slimmer profile armrest, which I suppose is intended to make the seats feel a bit wider.

Each economy seat features a 13.3″ 4K touch screen monitor, bluetooth audio, and a USB charging port.

New Etihad Boeing 787 economy class seats
New Etihad Boeing 787 economy class cabin

New Etihad 787 Viasat Wi-Fi

Another major tech upgrade for Etihad’s Boeing 787s is that these new planes feature Viasat Wi-Fi, representing a significant upgrade over the Wi-Fi otherwise offered. Viasat is known for offering industry leading Wi-Fi speeds, so this is something that customers will no doubt appreciate.

Also keep in mind that nowadays Etihad Guest members can receive free messaging inflight, to help pass the time.

New Etihad 787 should enter service soon

While the initial timeline was for the first Boeing 787-9 with the new cabins to enter service as of the third quarter of 2023, that timeline didn’t stick, unfortunately. The good news is that the first aircraft with these interiors should enter service shortly.

There are already three Dreamliners that have been produced and should enter service with Etihad soon, and they have the registration codes A6-BNE, A6-BNF, and A6-BNG. On February 17, the jet with the “BNG” registration code was delivered to Etihad, having flown from Charleston (CHS) to Abu Dhabi (AUH). While I could be wrong, everything is pointing toward this jet likely entering service in the coming weeks, which is exciting.

My take on Etihad’s new Boeing 787 cabins

I’m looking forward to experiencing Etihad’s new Boeing 787 cabins. A few thoughts…

In business class, there’s no denying that Collins Aerospace manufactures some great seats, and the new Elements product is an evolution of the Super Diamond configuration that’s already widely in service. Having flown this seat on Starlux Airlines, I think this sets the new industry standard for “generic” business class seats. Given Etihad’s exceptional soft product (including new Armani / Casa amenities), this will be a very competitive business class.

Now, I’d probably expect this seat to be slightly less spacious than on the Starlux A350, purely in terms of the amount of space. The A350 cabin is wider than the 787 cabin, so I suspect the suites will be a little narrower. For example, you can see that the seats don’t have storage compartments to the side of the seat toward the back, as Starlux has. Still, this should be a great product.

As far as economy goes, usually an airline promoting how a seat is lightweight and the armrest is smaller isn’t exactly a great sign in terms of comfort. At the end of the day there’s only so much innovation you’ll find with economy seating, so I’d say those seats look… fine?

What I am also looking forward to is the much improved tech, from the Viasat Wi-Fi, to the higher definition video screens, to the bluetooth audio, to the several charging options in business class. In economy, I’m not a huge fan of Etihad only having USB outlets, while previously the airline had AC power outlets. But that’s just personal preference.

Etihad’s new Boeing 787s are getting new seats

Bottom line

Etihad Airways is installing Collins Aerospace Elements seats on newly delivered Boeing 787-9s going forward. This is an evolution of the carrier’s new Airbus A350 business class seats. On top of that, you can expect new economy class seats, and improved tech throughout the plane, including Viasat Wi-Fi. This looks like a fantastic upgrade, and I can’t wait to fly this jet.

With the first jet having now been delivered to Etihad and having flown to Abu Dhabi, I imagine it will enter service in the near future.

What do you make of Etihad’s new Boeing 787 cabins, and in particular the new business class?

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  1. John Guest

    First flight to FRA on the 22nd.

  2. Raul Guest

    My contact told me the new aircraft are going to IAD, MUC, and BOM to begin with. She says that the chief of the commercial area picked them and that IAD was because they wanted to send a nice product as it does not have F class anymore. MUC is apparently one of their best markets and so is BOM.

    What impress me much is the sheer amount of news coming from Etihad these days with the new management.

  3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Wondering when EY is going to stop playing coy with SkyTeam, and do the obvious next step...

  4. Russell Wilsonsucks Guest

    Service at AUH Business sucks!

  5. Parnel Guest

    looks like the Air Canada seat and its crap. :(

  6. Density Guest

    I am impressed they managed to fit 32 reverse herringbone seats between doors L1 & L2 on the 789. I believe this is a first in the world, matching the United Polaris density and beating the Super Diamond‘s 30 seats (AC/AA). Much more efficient that EY’s 28 Studio seats. Impressive work by Collins!

  7. Adil Guest

    They look nice, but the seat seems far away from the window. The door is a nice touch, but will people walking past your seat, with your head by the aisle, wake you up?

    The Business Studio seats were really nice - right next to the window, far away from the aisle and offered a lot of privacy.

    Looking forward to Lucky's review!

  8. Antwerp Guest

    Yet another reason why I continue to favor Etihad over QR and EY. They are making tremendous gains in their operation and service. I like exactly how they are also positioning themselves in trying not to go massive like the other two. Add in the new terminal and it's as close as you can get to a best experience.

    An example? I flew QSuites last week on a paid ticket from CMB via DOH...

    Yet another reason why I continue to favor Etihad over QR and EY. They are making tremendous gains in their operation and service. I like exactly how they are also positioning themselves in trying not to go massive like the other two. Add in the new terminal and it's as close as you can get to a best experience.

    An example? I flew QSuites last week on a paid ticket from CMB via DOH to IAD. It was a mess of a trip. Canceled flight out of CMB forcing me to a middle of the night departure and 8 hours in a crummy lounge there. Though I would still barely make my original connecting flight they managed to lose my inside window seat reservation in the process of rebooking, thus leaving me with only center as an option to IAD. The IFE kept crashing and the flight map didn't work. Half the buttons for seat control were not functioning. And after take off four seats had oxygen masks fall out of the ceiling and hang there (not a deployment but some sort of isolated malfunction.) This resulted in those four people having to move seats and split up. All of this on a two year old A350-1000. They actually did nothing to attempt to even visually do anything about it. They just dangled down and swung around the cabin for 15 hours, lol. Lately I am really having trouble understanding all the love for QR. Especially as EY continues its amazing and sustainable comeback.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      LOL.

      Not sure what's more hilarious: this (if it actually even happened), or you believing that this is exemplary in any way/shape/form of anything.

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Antwerp Guest

Yet another reason why I continue to favor Etihad over QR and EY. They are making tremendous gains in their operation and service. I like exactly how they are also positioning themselves in trying not to go massive like the other two. Add in the new terminal and it's as close as you can get to a best experience. An example? I flew QSuites last week on a paid ticket from CMB via DOH to IAD. It was a mess of a trip. Canceled flight out of CMB forcing me to a middle of the night departure and 8 hours in a crummy lounge there. Though I would still barely make my original connecting flight they managed to lose my inside window seat reservation in the process of rebooking, thus leaving me with only center as an option to IAD. The IFE kept crashing and the flight map didn't work. Half the buttons for seat control were not functioning. And after take off four seats had oxygen masks fall out of the ceiling and hang there (not a deployment but some sort of isolated malfunction.) This resulted in those four people having to move seats and split up. All of this on a two year old A350-1000. They actually did nothing to attempt to even visually do anything about it. They just dangled down and swung around the cabin for 15 hours, lol. Lately I am really having trouble understanding all the love for QR. Especially as EY continues its amazing and sustainable comeback.

1
John Guest

First flight to FRA on the 22nd.

0
Raul Guest

My contact told me the new aircraft are going to IAD, MUC, and BOM to begin with. She says that the chief of the commercial area picked them and that IAD was because they wanted to send a nice product as it does not have F class anymore. MUC is apparently one of their best markets and so is BOM. What impress me much is the sheer amount of news coming from Etihad these days with the new management.

0
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