By Andy Sambidge
New butlers are scheduled to start duties on airline's inaugural Airbus A380 flight to London Heathrow in December
The first group of Etihad Airways’ inflight butler trainees has departed Abu Dhabi for specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London.
The 13 men and women will provide superior service to guests of The Residence by Etihad, the airline's new three-room cabin featuring a living room, private shower-room and double bedroom.
The luxury accommodation is being introduced on Etihad’s fleet of 10 Airbus A380s, the first of which is due for delivery in December.
The first butler is scheduled to assume duty on the airline’s inaugural Airbus A380 flight to London Heathrow on December 27.
The comprehensive three-week-long training program will be delivered by the University of West London in conjunction with the legendary Savoy Hotel, Etihad said in a statement.
The syllabus covers all areas essential to catering to the personal tastes of guests staying in The Residence, including international protocol and etiquette, VIP guest care, valet skills, luxury food and wine service standards and organising travel arrangements.
Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad Airways vice president guest services, said: “We are tremendously proud to be sending our first talented crew members for training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London. This marks their initiation into a very select group of highly-trained hospitality professionals, and is testament to Etihad Airways’ aim to be the best and to provide levels of discretion, dedication and sophistication hitherto not experienced by the modern airline traveller.
“We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm we have received from the Savoy Training Academy, which shares our mission to provide something truly exceptional in the air.”
The third week of their training will see the butler trainees start their attachment at The Savoy Hotel, where they will shadow the establishment’s own world-renowned butlers as they carry out their duties.
The second group of Butler trainees is scheduled to start their Savoy Butler Academy training in early 2015.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.