Etihad Airways today welcomed a Royal delegation to its aircraft display on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow 2017. The UAE’s national airline is displaying three aircraft at this year’s edition of the bi-annual event – an Airbus A380, an Airbus A320 “flying testbed” and an Embraer Phenom 100E from the Etihad Flight College (EFC). The aircraft were toured by Lieutenant General His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We were delighted to welcome Royal guests who visited our aircraft on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow. We presented our groundbreaking interiors aboard the A380; innovation and technical excellence on our A320 testbed aircraft; and our Emirati cadets from the Etihad Flight College whose engagement with visitors is a great source of national pride.”
Etihad Airways’ A380 on display is the same aircraft that took part in the spectacular low fly-by over the Louvre Abu Dhabi at the museum’s official opening yesterday. With its four engines adorned in official Louvre Abu Dhabi logos, Etihad Airways’ A380 superjumbo interiors boast features which are inspired by the museum’s iconic dome and its ‘Rain of Light’ effect. These include ceiling designs and light projections in the boarding zones, Lobby Lounge, First Class and The Residence cabins of the A380s, and stylised sconce lighting in the Business Studios which imitate the way sunlight streams through the fronds of palm trees in a desert oasis.
Onboard, members of the Etihad Design Consortium who were instrumental in the aircraft’s award-winning design – from seating across all classes to the galleys to the overall innovation process – impressed visitors with their fascinating insights into the cabin development process.
The Etihad Aviation Group’s role at the forefront of aviation innovation was reinforced on the A320 “flying testbed”, which has been converted to showcase WI-FLY+, the new, superfast inflight connectivity developed by Yahsat, the UAE based satellite operator; Etihad Airways Engineering; telecommunications company du; and technology partners Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect. Achieving speeds of more than 50Mbps in recent trials, Dubai Airshow guests are able to experience the next-generation system for themselves by accessing HD streaming content such as YouTube or Netflix.
The third facet of the display is Etihad Flight College’s Embraer Phenom 100E. EFC was the first flight college in the world to conduct abinitio flight training on the aircraft. It is also the first Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) programme with all jet training. Also exhibiting on the display apron is an F1 racing car promoting the forthcoming Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Alongside is a 16-metre mobile exhibition vehicle (MEV) featuring cabin products and inflight service elements on long-haul aircraft, including The Residence on the A380. The Etihad Airways aircraft, MEV and F1 car will be on display all week at the Airshow 2017, being held at Maktoum International Airport.