FrontRunners February 2015: TRAVEL


Singapore Airlines ( introduced passengers to a new concept in commercial flights in 2008 when it debuted the world’s first air suites with double beds—along with 23-inch televisions, Poltrona Frau leather armchairs, and Givenchy linens. Now Etihad Airways ( is upping the first-class ante with the launch of its new fully enclosed 125-square-foot Residence. The private three-room space, which the United Arab Emirates–based airline debuted on its A380 in December, is designed for one or two passengers and includes a bedroom with a double bed and a bathroom with a spa shower. Guests are served by a team of Savoy Academy–trained butlers and dine on made-to-order meals by gourmet chefs. Not surprisingly, haute cuisine is also a focal point in Air France’s ( new La Première class. Debuted in September, the four-suite cabin on some of the airline’s Boeing 777-300s features a rotating menu developed by a cast of Michelin-starred chefs, including Joël Robuchon and Guy Martin. The suites offer thick retractable curtains for privacy and tweed-and-leather armchairs that recline to 79-inch flat beds. Also last summer, the business-class-only airline La Compagnie ( took to the skies for the first time, launching its inaugural flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Newark Liberty International on a custom Boeing 757-200. In-flight perks include personal Samsung tablets, Caudalie bath products, and cuisine by the Michelin-starred chef Christophe Langrée.