Etihad has got its groove back…I enjoyed a fabulous flight onboard the new Airbus A350-1000 in business class from Istanbul to Abu Dhabi and am happy to report that all hope is not lost for the troubled airline.
Etihad Airways A350-1000 Business Class – My First Impressions
Etihad made a number of bad investments and struggled in the years leading up to the pandemic. During the pandemic, it sidelined its flagship A380 aircraft and many of us wondered if the glory days were forever over.
I am pleased to report that I had not just a good, but an amazing flight onboard a brand new A350 jet which fully restores my confidence in the Abu Dhabi-based carrier.
Service was over-the-top good…the lovely Amalia was a gem, providing gracious, attentive, and professional service throughout the flight and working harder than I’ve ever seen a flight attendant work (Etihad offers meal on an on-demand basis in business class).
Both Amalia and Olija were among the kindest flight attendants I have ever had the pleasure of flying with.
The new A350 cabin is really beautiful…I’d even call it stunning. The A350-1000 is one big and spacious premium cabin between doors one and two, with closed-door suites and little touches like lamps and a lack of center overhead bins that make it look so classy. I love the color scheme and find this perhaps the most beautiful business class cabin in the world.
The seat is also very comfortable and suite quite convenient with wireless mobile phone charging and high-speed USB-A and USB-C chargers. High speed wi-fi is also provisioned onboard.
I love the mood lighting as well.
I chose to eat lunch after takeoff and was treated to a delightful multi-course feast, including Arabic mezze, curry butter crusted sea bass, fresh fruit, and finally vanilla mousse aseeda with cappuccino. A delicious meal that was also beautifully presented.
My only regret is that the Istanbul – Abu Dhabi flight only four hours…I look forward to going out of my way to fly this aircraft on a longhaul flight.
There’s a lot more to share about this flight. I’ll have further details on the service, menu, IFE, and other amenities in my full review.
It’s rare you’ll get a smile out of me, but this flight really made me happy.