A personal concierge will be made available to travellers on board The Residence, the high-end luxury accommodation that Etihad Airways introduced last year, in addition to their own bedroom and a butler.
The carrier has signed an agreement with Ten Group, a concierge service provider, to offer personalised services to top-tier customers on board its Airbus A380 fleet.
The concierges will help customers to make dining reservations, entertainment bookings and attend special events.
“We have chosen to collaborate with a provider possessing the global reach and expertise which meet the demands and expectations of our most discerning guests,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s chief commercial officer. “Whether it is for a last-minute booking at a top London restaurant, tickets for a Broadway show, or even the purchase of a rare blue diamond, our fully connected fleet will enable us to assist guests staying in the Residence by Etihad with their requirements immediately, 24 hours a day, at 35,000 feet, and with the most professional levels of service.”
The Residence cabin features three rooms and a dedicated Savoy-trained butler and Etihad hopes the executive jet-like offering will help to lure high-end travellers from rivals including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
Ten Group, a British company, “serves the needs of the affluent in 22 languages”.
James Hogan, Etihad’s chief executive, said last month that the secret to Etihad’s success was introducing new products to the marketplace.
“What we bring to the market is competition, we bring fantastic choice in regard to product and services,” he said.
“We see strong demand in premium [class] and we’re very focused on the business traveller – when you look at our lounges, when you look at the services that we provide – to ensure that the trip is as seamless as it can be.”
Premium travel rose 1.4 per cent year on year in June, down from the growth of 4.1 per cent in May, according to the International Air Traffic Association (Iata).
Slower economic growth in Asia led to airlines’ weaker performance amid lower global business confidence.
However, “markets connected to the Middle East have also seen solid growth over recent months, particularly in premium class”, said Iata.
Continued weakness in emerging markets could hinder the growth of premium air travel, said the association.
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