I recently flew on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-9 from Vienna to Addis Ababa. It's been 4 years since my last flight with them. Let's find out what Ethiopian Airline's latest onboard product in both Business Class (Cloud 9) and Economy class is like.
The flight came from Brussels, and Vienna was an intermediate stop before flying to Addis Ababa.
Flight attendants dressed in Ethiopian traditional dress welcome passengers at the door.
Ethiopian Airlines B787-9 has 30 Business Class and 285 Economy Class seats.
The Ethiopian Business Class on 787 is in a 2-2-2 configuration. So if you're seated in the window seat you have to hop over your seat neighbor to get out. The seat padding is excellent but the seat felt somewhat narrow.Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Seat Maps. Provided by seatmaps.com
Lombard Champagne is served, along with amenity kit bags.
After takeoff, a 3-course dinner is served. The airline doesn't use a tray to serve in Business Class anymore. They have tried to upscale the table setting and offerings. Catering is excellent as it comes from Brussels.
I tried out Ethiopian wine (Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon) and Ethiopian Habesha beer.
After the main course, cheese board, dessert, and fruit were served on a cart.
Economy Class has 2 choices between chicken and fish, together with salad and a white chocolate mousse.
As the flight is a short 5 hr 45 mins, the dinner service took more than 2 hours and felt quite slow. I fell asleep after dinner until 30 minutes before landing, I was awoken by a beautiful sunrise. The crew served an express breakfast which was a croissant and drinks.
Although the service at times was slow, I felt my recent Ethiopian Airlines flight experience was better than a few years ago. The dining experience has improved greatly. The service was also attentive. However, the Wi-Fi didn't work on my flight.
Addis Ababa airport is at 7,625 ft above sea level. We landed on time on runway 07R. Watch the landing in my video.
About my Ethiopian Flight
- Improved dining service and quality of food.
- Extensive network and good connectivity.
- Good award seat availability when compared with other carriers.
- The 2-2-2 Business Class seating on B787 is underwhelming. The older 777 fleet has 2-3-2 angle flat Business Class seats. Some newly delivered A350 have 1-2-1 individual aisle access seating. The airline is focused on building the fleet and network but with inconsistent hard products.
- Wi-Fi didn't work on my flight.
The Addis Ababa Hub
After landing, I toured the passenger terminal and up to 10,000 passengers in the morning transit at Addis Ababa Bole Airport making it the busiest hub in Africa. The terminal has been expanded with now 21 gates and 9 airbridges.
Ethiopian Airlines' biggest strength is its network. Passengers from Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia are connecting at Addis before their final destination in Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines has 3 lounges, one for Premium Business Class passengers, one for Gold frequent flyers and one for Silver frequent flyers. Next week, I will share photos of these lounges.
The B777-300/ERs are usually deployed to Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria.
Many destinations such as Kinshasa, Kano, Moroni, and Windhoek are served by the new B787 and A350.
The morning departure peak was from 9 am to 11 am and then the airport terminal became very quiet. The same thing repeats in the evening with an arrival peak from 8pm to 10pm and a departure peak between 10pm and 12am.
Transit Hotel at Addis Ababa
I also toured the newly opened Transit Hotel - Ethiopian Skylight Hotel at Addis Ababa Bole Int'l. The hotel has rooms available from both the landside and airside.
Next week, I continue to explore Ethiopian Airline lounges at Addis Ababa and fly on their new A350 to Cape Town.