Margot Robbie, Orlando Bloom and Jessie J celebrate British Airways’ new 787-9 Dreamliner route in Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI: British Airways celebrated the launch of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily London-Abu Dhabi-Muscat service on 6 November by hosting a secret island party with a star studded line up.
Australian actress Margot Robbie and fellow Hollywood star Orlando Bloom flew in for an exclusive VIP party on Zaya Nurai Island just off the coast Abu Dhabi.
Over 200 guests, celebrities and VIPs who attended the event were also treated to a live performance by Jessie J to celebrate the latest addition to British Airways’ fleet - which made its inaugural flight into Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The UAE and Omani capitals become only the second and third destinations, respectively, operated by a British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner - an aircraft poised to become the mainstay of the UK carrier’s fleet.
The Boeing 787-9 features an evolution of British Airways’ First cabin, with just eight seats compared to the usual 14. It is 20 feet longer and four inches taller than its predecessor, the 787-8, with 30 per cent larger windows and 60 per cent less engine noise both inside and outside the cabin.
British Airways’ Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales, Paolo De Renzis, opened last Friday’s event before award-winning British singer Jessie J took to the stage to perform a string of her hits, including Domino, Ain’t Been Done, Nobody’s Perfect, Masterpiece, Bang Bang and Price Tag.
Chart star and judge of TV’s The Voice Jessie said it was her first time visiting Abu Dhabi and that she had been hugely impressed by the new aircraft. She said: “Flying is a huge part of my life now. Over the years I have flown so many airlines but British Airways has always been my favourite. I love Abu Dhabi and am excited to have been able to perform for the people who have helped me travel around the world with my music safely and comfortably. What I love even better - my bed tonight will be on the new 787-9 British Airways plane!”
Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie - who stars as Harley Quinn in the hotly anticipated cinematic adaptation of cult graphic novel, Suicide Squad - told guests she had fallen in love with the city. She added: “I’ve only been in Abu Dhabi for a day or so but it is a place of beautiful contrasts. I visited the desert yesterday and the vast tranquillity of that landscape is the opposite of the cosmopolitan modernity of the city - it is a beautiful place.”
Actor Orlando Bloom also took to the stage to hail the new 787-9 and spoke of his love for Abu Dhabi. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to travel. There’s nothing quite like the luxury of the new First cabin on British Airways. I’m sure it will be warmly received by British Airways’ passengers in Abu Dhabi. I have no doubt that travellers will love it,” said Bloom.
British Airways’ Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales, Paolo De Renzis, said the introduction of the new 787-9 Dreamliner, which is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways’ fleet, marked a new era of luxury travel for customers in Abu Dhabi and Oman.
“We have a long heritage in the UAE with over 80 years of operations and it is entirely fitting that our loyal premium customers in Abu Dhabi can now experience the new First cabin that has been created specifically for this aircraft,” said De Renzis.
He went on to say: “We would like to thank Orlando, Margot and Jessie J, for joining us here in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the launch of our new aircraft and our partners at Boeing who have helped make the 787-9 a part of British Airways’ new fleet of aircraft.”
British Airways’ first 787-9 Dreamliner recently launched on its Delhi route, with plans to roll out the aircraft on several more destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Austin and the airline’s upcoming new route next year to San Jose, California.
The 787-9 features four cabins: World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class), and the new First cabin - which was created specifically for the aircraft. The new First suites were designed based on feedback from First customers to ensure comfort was at the heart of the experience.
Orlando Bloom surveys the sweeping Abu Dhabi cityscape.
Margot Robbie at the British Airways launch event in Abu Dhabi.