A state-of-the-art Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon after its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways flight EY604 took off from Abu Dhabi at 10.15am and arrived on schedule at 4.45pm local time. The return flight EY603 departed Johannesburg at 7.50pm last night, touching down Abu Dhabi on schedule at 6.10am this morning, 2 November.
Operating daily on the route, the two-class B787-9 Dreamliner features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said the decision to upgrade to the Dreamliner aircraft on the Johannesburg route was to meet the needs of growing numbers of business and leisure passengers travelling to and from South Africa.
“Today’s modern traveller is constantly searching for comfort, innovation and convenience, and we aim to provide the highest standard of hospitality and technological advancements to make any journey a memorable one.”
John Friel, Etihad Airways General Manager South Africa, added: “The introduction of the Boeing 787 is a welcome development that will further enhance our guests’ experience on this route.
“Our luxurious Dreamliners offer a best-in-class experience, and attention to every last detail.”
All Etihad Airways’ B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft feature the airline’s highly acclaimed next-generation interiors with 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats.
The Business Studios all offer direct aisle access, a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long, and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space. Upholstered in the finest Poltrona Frau leather, the Business Studio is equipped with an in-seat massage and pneumatic cushion control system which enables guests to adjust the firmness and comfort of their seat. Each Business Studio has an 18-inch personal touch-screen TV with noise-cancelling headsets.
The 271 Economy Smart Seats provide enhanced comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat, adjustable lumbar support, a seat width of approximately 19 inches, and an 11.1” personal TV monitor.
In addition to full mobile and Wi-Fi service with USB and power points at every seat, the Dreamliner fleet features the latest in entertainment innovation, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, including seven live TV channels, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins.
The airline’s renowned hospitality includes innovative services such as Flying Nannies trained by the world-famous Norland College in the UK, who provide assistance to families on board. Food and Beverage Managers handpicked from the world’s finest hotels and restaurants guide guests in Business Class through the extensive a la carte and ‘dine anytime’ options, and provide recommendations on the best food and wine pairing.
Guests on the Dreamliner also enjoy the industry’s largest windows; air that is cleaner, more humid and at a lower cabin altitude for better comfort; large overhead stowage bins, soothing LED lighting; and technology to sense and counter turbulence for a smoother ride.
Etihad Airways uniquely offers travellers from Africa the convenience of US Customs and Border Protection at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This facility, exclusive to Etihad Airways in the Gulf region, allows guests to complete immigration, customs and security clearance procedures for the USA while in transit at Abu Dhabi – avoiding lengthy queues upon arrival at US airports.
Johannesburg is the ninth city to be served by Etihad Airways’ B787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft is also deployed to Brisbane, Düsseldorf, Perth, Riyadh, Shanghai, Singapore, Washington DC and Zurich.
Etihad Airways’ order for two variants of the B787 (-9 and -10), is one of the world’s largest for the type, totalling 71 aircraft.