Etihad, Cathay Pacific Bringing Back First Class Seating

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is reintroducing four of its A380s from the summer of 2023. The move follows a surge in demand for air travel across the airline’s network and customer feedback for the return of the commercial flying experience. What's more: The A380s offers The Residence, along with three other cabin classes—including nine First Apartments, 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats—on the double-decker aircraft. 

The nine First Apartments set across a single aisle, offer a private living space with a large leather lounge chair and an ottoman that opens up to become a separate 80.5-inch-long fully flat bed. The seat also offers a 24-inch swiveling LCD TV monitor and personal vanity unit. For the first time, Etihad plans to eventually offer The Residence as an optional extra for guests to further enhance their First experience. The Lobby, available to guests in First and Business class, is a serviced lounge and bar area located between the two cabins, offering leather sofas, refreshments and a large TV with a USB connection.

Plans for the new aircraft include operations to London Heathrow, freeing up capacity for increased frequencies on existing routes and the launch of new destinations. The A380s’ return will be supported by the addition of five smaller A320 aircraft.

In another development, Cathay Pacific has announced that its first class service is back, initially on select flights to and from London Heathrow followed by Paris and Tokyo (Haneda) over the coming months.

A man dining in Cathay Pacific's First Class seat

To mark the occasion, Cathay Pacific has introduced a celebratory limited edition Krug 2004 Vintage Champagne from the House of Krug as well as a celebratory edition of Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2018 and Château Lynch-Bages 2000—both vintages from Bordeaux. Available in first class on flights to and from London in December, the offer celebrates the airline’s partnerships with House of Krug and Château Lynch-Bages, with whom it has partnered since 1986 and 1989, respectively. In addition to the airline’s extensive wine cellar, beverage options also include teas from JING, cold pressed juices from Bless and the airline’s own Betsy craft beer produced by expert Hong Kong brewery, Gweilo Beer.

Good to know: Cathay Pacific’s first class service allows customers to dine at their preferred time, choosing from a selection of hearty favorites, nutritious wellness options and authentic Hong Kong dishes.

Cathay Pacific has also partnered with Bamford to provide first class passengers with 600-thread-count sustainably sourced cotton bedlinen, men’s and women’s natural skincare products, and amenity kits. Customers can also select their choice of pillow from the pillow menu; they also receive a cotton sleep suit, slippers and eye mask from Hong Kong brand PYE.

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