Wed, Dec 24, 2014

Private Aviation & Premium Travel
Huge expectations, says flying suite’s first customer

The first passenger to fly on the world’s first private suite on a commercial passenger plane says he has “huge expectations" about his upcoming trip.

Miami businessman and aviation enthusiast Gino Bertuccio has booked the multi-room suite called The Residence on Etihad Airways’ A380 inaugural flight from the UAE to the UK on December 27.

The Residence features an exclusive three-room private cabin, including a living room, double bedroom and en-suite shower.

Limited to just one suite per plane, it will be available on the airline’s incoming fleet of Airbus A380 jets.

Bertuccio will have a dedicated Savoy Academy-trained butler on call throughout the duration of his flight.

Well before the inaugural flight takes off from Abu Dhabi International Airport for London’s Heathrow Airport, a dedicated concierge team will ensure all aspects of Bertuccio’s experience are handled “with the utmost personal attention, dedication and care”. 

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, says: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Bertuccio on board The Residence by Etihad. On December 27, he will become part of aviation history as the first member of an elite group of Etihad Airways guests to enjoy the world’s most luxurious and exclusive hospitality and service experience in the air.” 

Bertuccio who runs Ligi Import Corp, says: “I have followed Etihad Airways and I have always admired the products the airline has launched. There are going to be many firsts on this inaugural flight – new amenities, services and other innovations to try. I am excited to experience them all, though I am particularly fascinated by the butler concept.”

A true connoisseur with deep expertise and knowledge of air travel, Bertuccio flew on his first inaugural 25 years ago and has since traveled on 22 inaugural and final flights in premium class cabins. He is an avid collector of airline memorabilia with nearly 2,000 model airplanes, as well as albums filled with boarding passes, certificates and photos from past flights.  

“For the first time in my flying experience, I really don’t know what to expect but I do know that flying in the Residence by Etihad will be a truly unique adventure, the top of luxury. I have huge expectations. My only wish is that the flight was longer,” he says.

For those who are interested, the price of the suite, when Arabian Knight checked online for a booking in mid-April next year, showed up at a mere $42,000.

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