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Inside Etihad’s New Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner With Updated Business and Economy Class Cabins

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

671 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...
Edited by: Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

353 Published Articles 55 Edited Articles

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...

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Eithad recently announced some updates to its business class and economy products, which will be found exclusively onboard its future Boeing 787-9 deliveries.

One such Boeing 787-9 was onsite at the Dubai Airshow, and Upgraded Points was invited to take a tour.

We’re excited to show you the updates to this product as it is yet to be experienced by paying passengers.

Business Class

While Etihad does indeed offer first class, it’s only found on its Airbus A380s, some of its Boeing 777-300s, and a handful of its Boeing 787-9s.

The rest of its jets are made up of only business and economy class, as the UAE flag carrier doesn’t offer a premium economy product.

That said, the most common premium product is the airline’s business class, which has received both major and minor tweaks in the name of passenger comfort and experience.

Hot Tip:

Keen to try this for yourself? Then take a look at our guide to booking Etihad business class using points, and you could be on your way to Abu Dhabi and beyond before you know it!

Perhaps the most noticeable new feature (and most appreciated by passengers) will be the addition of a sliding door and higher walls of the seat that curve at the top. Etihad hopes that these design enhancements will add to the feeling of privacy for its passengers.

Unfortunately, the doors were locked and immovable during our visit.

Etihad's Boeing 787-9 business class seat
The newest design of Etihad’s Boeing 787-9 business class seat.

The seat also boasts a larger stowage compartment than the airline’s other jets.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner business class seat row 1
Seat 5K onboard Etihad’s newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Rather than being fixed to 3 or 4 different settings, tray tables are moveable without restriction. This small but effective design update means that passengers should find it easier to find a position that suits them while eating.

Etihad new 787 Dreamliner business class seat
Be gone, fixed tray positions.

Etihad has also simplified the at-seat controls, including the handheld IFE remote, which now features fewer buttons as well as a touch scroller for easier, less clunky navigation.

Etihad new 787 Dreamliner business class remote control
The handheld IFE control onboard Etihad’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Those with a keen eye will notice the introduction of leather as the material of choice for the footrests.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner business class footrest
Business class footrest.

Etihad also took the opportunity to display its limited edition amenity kit, which celebrates the airline’s 20-year anniversary. Gorgeous, right?

Dubai Airshow limited edition business class amenity kit
Get it while you can!

Economy Class

The economy class cabin looks sleeker than ever thanks to the more slimline seats.

This, according to Etihad, will not impact the comfort of passengers but rather gives the feeling of more space in economy.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy cabin
The new economy cabin looks super sleek.

The most noticeable change is for passengers seated at the bulkheads as, where possible, Etihad has mounted the Rave Ultra 13.3-inch 4K touchscreen monitors onto the wall itself.

This makes seat egress far easier for passengers throughout their journey.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy screens
In some cases, such as certain aisle seats, passengers’ TV screens will still be located on the armrest of the seat rather than on the bulkhead wall.

Comfort is clearly the main reason for the change, but it’s undeniable that the IFE screens also look so much better when mounted on the bulkhead.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy bulkhead screens
The bulkhead row in the economy cabin.

An honorary mention must be made regarding the strives forward in sustainability that Etihad is making with the economy class meal service.

The only items that are not reusable or recyclable are the paper napkins and drink stirrers.

Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy food
Everything in this picture (except for the napkin) is reusable or recyclable.

To finish, here are a couple more shots of the empty plane cabin.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy cabin 2
Economy isn’t all that bad, after all.

And here’s one from the back of the cabin for good measure.

Dubai Airshow Etihad new 787 Dreamliner economy cabin from the back
Economy class on Etihad’s new 787-9 Dreamliner

Final Thoughts

Innovations in products that have a positive impact on passenger experience and comfort are always worth writing home about.

In the case of Etihad’s future Boeing 787-9 deliveries, these changes, which may appear insignificant at the outset, will undoubtedly add to a better all-round experience for both economy and business class passengers alike.

Etihad has yet to reveal when its latest 787-9s will enter service. Rest assured, we’ll update you as soon as this changes.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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