October 2014

Graduate Eren reaches for the sky as a "flying butler"

Read time: approx 2 mins

A UCB graduate is preparing for take-off as one of the world’s first flying butlers.

Eren Wirizlay will be pampering VIP guests in Etihad Airways’ new £12,500-per-flight luxury cabin known as The Residence. 

Abu Dhabi-based Eren, who graduated with a BA in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2011, joined 12 fellow members of the team for a special three-week training school at London’s five-star Savoy Hotel. 

The new butlers-in-the-sky were put through their paces by the hotel’s head butler Sean Davoren, learning the finer details of etiquette, protocol and valet skills. 

Eren, 27, of Telford, Shropshire, will be working on the airline’s giant Airbus A380, the world’s biggest commercial plane, shuttling super-rich guests in style between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi. 

The food and beverage manager is one of three UK nationals selected for the airline’s elite squad of high-flying hospitality professionals. 

Now Eren, who joined Etihad two years ago, could be picked for the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London on December 27.

He said: “The thought of being the world’s first in-flight butler is amazing and obviously all of us who qualified would love to have that honour.  But if it’s not to be on the inaugural flight, I won’t be disappointed as my time will come soon enough.”

Eren got a taste for hospitality when he worked in hotels in Birmingham, including the Hilton Garden Inn and Hotel La Tour. However, he decided his passion for travel and a desire to see the world would be best served by working for a major international airline. 

After joining Etihad, he worked through the ranks of cabin crew to get to the top of the in-flight hospitality ladder.

Eren said:  “Working in restaurants was fabulous but taking my experience to the skies has given me so much latitude to show my true personality and allowed me to deliver the very best in customer service. The Residence, for me, is a career defining moment.  It will be the ultimate in customer experience in the aviation world.”    

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

Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad's vice president of guest services, said: "I am extremely proud of the team’s achievements and they all qualified with flying colours to become the world's first-ever butlers in the sky.

"They are really enthusiastic and cannot wait to board the A380 aircraft and put into practice all that they have learned.

"Etihad Airways aims to be the best in everything we set out to do and the flying butlers will provide a level of service that no traveller has ever experienced in commercial aviation."

Etihad plans to launch three more superjumbos next year.

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