Frequent Flyer: (left to right) – William Owen Hughes of Travelport presents Haitham Al Subaihi of Etihad Airways with the Best Frequent Flyer Award. They are joined by celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, was named ‘Best First Class’ and ‘Best Frequent Flyer’ programme at the Business Traveller Awards Middle East, which were held at the Palazzo Versace in Dubai last night. The award is another major accolade for the UAE national airline’s First Class experience, which has repeatedly been voted best in the world, particularly since the airline introduced ground-breaking First Class cabins on its fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 787-9 aircraft at the end of 2014. Haitham Al Subaihi, Vice President of UAE Sales at Etihad Airways, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised with these prestigious awards which again demonstrate that our guests acknowledge the investments we are making in our premium product offering.
“It is also pleasing to see that the steps we are taking to grow Etihad Guest by expanding the range of partnerships for millions of members have proven so popular and secured the ‘Frequent Flyer’ award. Over the coming year, we will continue to expand the scheme adding further partners and continuing to focus on providing a valuable and rewarding experience.” The judges recognized the significant investment that has been made in Etihad Airways’ A380 First Class cabin, which boasts nine First Apartments. The First Apartments are unique living spaces of 39 square feet in size, with a separate ottoman that converts into a full-length 80.5 inch long bed. A dedicated shower room is also available for exclusive use by First Class guests. Additional A380 services are being added to Melbourne and Mumbai this year and a total of ten A380’s will service the Etihad Airways route network by the end of 2017.
Onboard Chefs in First Class, many of whom hail from fine dining establishments around the world including some Michelin Star restaurants, prepare made to order dishes on request or create a bespoke dining experience tailored to the individual’s palate. Etihad’s Boeing 787s are also equipped with eight private First Suites in a unique curved aisle setting. A private First Class suite product is also available in the three-class configured long-haul fleet of Boeing 777s, Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.
The airline will continue to invest in its First Class product during the year ahead, and in May will open a new First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The lounge will be for the exclusive use of First Class guests, Etihad Guest Platinum and Etihad Airways Partners Platinum guests, and those staying in The Residence, onboard the A380 fleet. The airline was also successful in the ‘Best Frequent Flyer’ category at the awards ceremony, with the award coming at a time of tremendous growth for the programme which passed four million members this week. Over the last year it has added key partners to the programme such as Porsche, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Trip Advisor.
Etihad Guest is the award-winning multi-airline loyalty programme from Etihad Airways and includes Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional. It was launched in August 2006 and offers members the opportunity to accumulate Etihad Guest Miles on flights with more than 40 airline partners including airberlin, Virgin Australia, Alitalia and Jet Airways, as well as a number of local and global partners, ranging from hotel accommodation and car rental to retail and financial products.