Shangri-La, China – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been awarded “Best First Class” by Condé Nast Traveller China in the publication’s “Gold List 2018”, announced at an award ceremony at Songtsam Linka Shangri-La in Yunnan Province, China. It is the third consecutive year Etihad has been selected as a “Gold List” winner.

Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We are extremely honoured to be listed on Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘Gold List’ for the third consecutive year in China — an incredibly important market for us. This is a testament to our attention to excellence at every level. We are strengthening our position as a preferred airline in bringing innovative products, intuitive service and world-class hospitality to our guests.”

In the past decade, innovative and cutting-edge products and services, such as The Residence, Inflight Chef, Food & Beverage Manager and Flying Nanny, elevated Etihad in a competitive market.

“While we will continue to offer an unparalleled experience for all our guests, we are a proud advocate of choice and believe the power of choice is with the passenger to decide what products are right for them. That’s why we launched the new ‘Choose Well’ brand platform late last year, to invite our guests to decide how they travel,” added Mr. Kamark.

This year, Etihad introduced the luxurious Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on its Beijing route and the 787-9 on its daily Hong Kong service. Looking ahead, Etihad Airways will deploy the 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu, effective 1 July 2019. Also from 1 July, the airline’s daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai will be upgraded to the larger 787-10 Dreamliner.

Once the changes take effect, the airline will operate all 28 weekly services to China’s four main gateways — Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Over 11 years of successful operation in the China market, Etihad has witnessed significant yearly growth in passenger numbers on its services to and from China, further boosted by codeshare agreements with partner airlines and the mutual visa-exemption policy between the UAE and China, implemented in January 2018.