The FINANCIAL -- Etihad Airways has scooped the coveted 2015 Crystal Cabin Award in the ‘Premium Class & VIP’ category, for its innovative Airbus A380 upper deck cabin designs and products. The ceremony was held in Hamburg, Germany, as part of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo.
The Crystal Cabin Award is the only international award recognising excellence in aircraft interior innovation. The international judging panel is made up of more than 20 academics, engineers, representatives of aircraft manufacturers and airlines, as well as journalists specialising in the field of aircraft interior design, according to Etihad Airways.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This prestigious accolade is testament to the incredible work carried out by the Etihad Airways team and the members of the Etihad Design Consortium. It has brought to reality our vision of redefining travel by investing in innovation and attention to detail, allowing us to totally reimagine flying.
“By involving our guests and stakeholders in the research and design process from the very beginning of this project, we have succeeded in creating a spectacular aircraft interior tailored to the needs of the sophisticated modern traveller.”
The award was presented jointly to Etihad Airways and the members of the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) – a unique grouping of three leading brand and design agencies, who pooled their combined skills to deliver Etihad Airways’ ambition of revolutionising air travel by totally reimagining the flying experience.
Created in 2008, in collaboration with leading co-creation and research agency, Promise Communispace, the EDC incorporates three companies: Acumen Design Associates, who were contracted to design all on-board seating; Factorydesign, who were chosen to design the guest experience and destination zones; and Honour Branding, who were tasked with coordinating the project interface between the EDC and Etihad Airways and formulating the creative strategy for the concept work.
As part of this objective, Etihad Airways sought to completely rethink the upper deck design on its ten new Airbus A380 aircraft, the first of which is currently in service between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, with Sydney and New York seeing A380 services from June and December 2015 respectively.
The Upper Deck of the Etihad Airways A380s includes three distinct passenger experiences, as well as a luxurious lobby area; The Residence by Etihad, the world’s first private three room cabin on a commercial aircraft, featuring a living room, bedroom and bathroom; First Apartments in First Class, 74 per cent larger than the current First Class Suites, and boasting a separate bed and armchair in a unique single aisle concept – the first time this has been achieved on a widebody commercial jet; and Business Studios in Business Class, offering more luxury, technology and 20 per cent more personal space.
The upper deck cabin entrance has transformed the boarding experience into one akin to stepping into a boutique hotel. Cabin lighting has been influenced by the geometric patterns in traditional architecture and also the modern design marvels such as the mosaic-style ceiling of the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. Specially placed gobo lighting subtly refracts the airline’s ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ design onto cabin walls and floors.
The new cabins offer an unprecedented level of luxury, space and privacy in the most highly customised commercial cabin interior ever.