New business class for American Airlines and Etihad

Etihad and American Airlines have announced back-to-back new business cabins in recent weeks, confirming the market trend toward closed suites in this class of travel

The new Etihad business class

Let’s start chronologically with Etihad. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has therefore mentioned the business class cabin that will equip its future Boeings 787s.

As is the current trend, it is a suite closed by a sliding door. These photos are a non-final version seen on Executive Traveller.

Seen up close, the suite takes up the aesthetic codes of the Gulf company. Not too ostentatious nor bling bling if we compare to its neighbor in Dubai.

The screen will be an impressive 21″.

The chosen seat is the brand new Collins Aerospace Elements, the successor to the Super Diamond, which is one of the references in the category and can be found in various forms on certain American Airlines (787, 777), British Airways (A350), Qatar Airways (A350, 787, A380) and Etihad A350 aircraft.

Etihad will be one of the first airlines to install the Elements.

The new American Airlines business class

Then American Airlines unveiled the seat that will equip its future 787s, A321XLRs and retrofitted 777s starting in 2024.

Here again we have a configuration with sliding doors.

The 321XLRs will be used on transcontinental flights where they will replace the traditional first class (note that in the USA what is called First on domestic flights is only a renamed business class).

On the other hand, this seat will also mean the end of the “true” Long Haul First on the aircraft it will equip. Not a real loss, the First American Airlines product having nothing to do in terms of cabin or service with what can be found in Asian, Middle Eastern and even European airlines.

If the airline did not communicate on the subject it is said that the chosen seat is the Ascent of Adient Aerospace.

But this confirms for some airlines the disappearance of first class in favor of “Business Plus” or “Business Premium”.

Bottom line

After Qatar Airways, British Airways and many others, Etihad and American Airlines have just unveiled closed business class cabins with sliding doors.

In American’s case this will mean the end of the first class.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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