Etihad is upping its game in Business Class with a new seat taking flight. Not content with closing doors just on its Airbus A350 jets, the Gulf carrier is extending this much-loved perk to its newest Boeing 787s.

Three Etihad planes are currently flying with these new suites. For now, they’re most often appearing on selected flights from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai, Munich and Washington D.C. – and occasionally to Bahrain and Boston, too. (For the aviation enthusiasts, the tail numbers to watch are A6-BNE, A6-BNF and A6-BNG).

But here at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, I get to try out the base model of Etihad’s new suite. The airline’s design is built upon the off-the-shelf ‘Elements’ Business Class seat by Collins Aerospace. This style of seat first debuted aboard Taiwan’s STARLUX Airlines, with Etihad being next in line for this new product. Let’s take a look!

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Elements by Collins Aerospace: Etihad’s new Business Class

The Elements seat on display at the Collins Aerospace AIX booth reflects the manufacturer’s basic model. Much like our recent story on Qantas’ forthcoming Project Sunrise Economy seat, the suite on display here isn’t in Etihad Airways’ brand colours. And as all airlines do, Etihad has tweaked a few of the finer touches – the style of lamp, for instance.

But now that you know the drill let’s dive into the seat. The biggest upgrade to Etihad’s current Boeing 787 Business Class product is the presence of that closing privacy door. It’s becoming the must-have amenity in long-haul Business Class – so it’s good to see Etihad keeping up.

The door emerges from within a sturdy shell that wraps around the seat for additional privacy. And, of course, there’s a ‘do not disturb’ indicator when you just want to be left alone in your own world at 40,000 feet.

But how does the seat feel? Its design offers well-placed padding and support that really emphasises comfort. That’s true even when you’re sitting upright. But naturally, dial the seat back, and that’s taken even further.

It’ll be interesting to see how the seat holds up after a long flight – whether those observations of comfort are true after 13 hours. It’s a new seat – which makes it relatively untested in the long-haul space. But Collins is no stranger to building feted long-haul seats, including the famed Emirates First Class Private Suite.

With new planes joining its fleet, we’ll see how long Etihad continues flying its older Boeing 777 jets. Especially on flights from Australia. These aircraft continue carrying Etihad’s oldest-generation Business Class, superseded by the airline’s original Boeing 787s as well as the Airbus A380s, which the airline launched at the same time. Then, more recently, those 777 seats were superseded also by the Airbus A350 Business Class suites, similarly with closing doors.

Also read: Etihad brings the Airbus A380 back to Paris

All photography by Chris Chamberlin for Point Hacks.

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Up close with Etihad’s new Boeing 787 Business Class seat was last modified: June 12th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin