24th June 2015

Hello from Central London on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon!

I’m writing today to tell you about a new supplier we’ve just added to the growing roster for Connections Luxury in September.

The supplier is Etihad – the national airline of the UAE and undoubtedly one of the planet’s finest airlines — indeed they’ve been voted the World’s Leading Airline for almost every year I can remember. From economy to First Class, the company has built a phenomenal and well deserved reputation for the delivery of a premium airline product synonymous with the finest levels of service.

When I got the call from Etihad’s Tim Lorimer, Manager, Global Sales, to say they were going to participate, I don’t mind admitting I did a series of fist pumps which raised a number of eyebrows around the Connections office! Including an airline with the reputation of Etihad was a key objective I was hoping to achieve so I’m delighted that they’re joining us in September.

I asked Tim to give us a quick few words on why they’re participating:

“The Connections partnership will enable Etihad Airways to continue to build its Premium product awareness in multiple markets, and offers an ideal platform to interact with high-end luxury travellers via trade partnerships across our growing network.”

I know a lot of luxury travellers do prefer to remain loyal to brands they’ve experienced for many years, however if you’ve been lucky enough to experience Etihad’s Business or First Class cabins, you’ll know there’s quite a difference between airlines.

I am sure Tim and his colleagues will be talking to our buyers about ‘The Residence by Etihad’. If you haven’t yet come across this new concept coming soon from the company, I strongly recommend you find out more. I’ll summarise it thus: Essentially Etihad are putting three-room 125sqft private suites on their A380s flying from London to Abu Dhabi on their A380s. Starting in December this year, you’ll be able to book a ‘Residence’ on each flight which includes a living room (with a drinks cabinet!), a separate bedroom (with a proper bed!) and an ensuite bathroom. Of course you’ll get an Etihad Butler, inflight chef and VIP concierge services including door-to-door chauffeurs. The new product offering also includes a First Apartment (a single dedicated room), a First Suite and a Business Studio.

I can’t wait to find out more.

Welcome to the team at Etihad! I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon