October 3, 2017

Review: Ethiopian A350 Business Class, Addis Ababa to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro

Trip to Zanzibar Flying Ethiopian Airlines in Business Class

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Review: Ethiopian A350 Business Class, Addis Ababa to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro
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Ethiopian A350 business class cabin, Addis Ababa to Zanzibar


Video Review from my YouTube Channel πŸ“ΊπŸ“Ί


Flight: ET 815
Date of flight: September 21, 2017
Departure time in Addis Ababa (ADD): 10:20
Arrival time in Zanzibar (ZNZ): 14:45
Aircraft: Airbus A350
Seat: 4A
Duration: 4h 25min
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #133

Ethiopian Cloud Nine Lounge 2

We visited the Ethiopian Cloud Nine Lounge 2 for the first time while waiting for our connecting flight to Zanzibar and we were actually impressed. About an hour before departure time, we slowly made our way to the boarding gate.

Gold Track

For business class passengers as well as those with status, the Gold Track was available and luckily, the line was very short and we were through in a few minutes.

To the right after security check is the exclusive waiting area where passengers wait till an agent informs them that it was time for boarding.

View from the waiting area

Bottles of water and newspapers

Special buses for business class passengers

A special bus is available to take you directly to the aircraft which is cool. The agent forgot to tell us though that we needed to go straight to the gate which was gate 11 since it is just beside the waiting area and there was no need for a special bus. Fortunately, Mike noticed that it was already time for boarding and the agent still hasn't called our flight number.

Aircraft, Airbus A350

Ethiopian A350 named Ertafe

Boarding, Gate 11

Boarding had already started when we came to the gate but since we had priority, it went very quickly πŸ˜‰

Cabin

The business class cabin on Ethiopian's A350 is simply gorgeous. We were actually supposed to fly with one of their B787s but I guess it was swapped last minute to their very new A350 πŸ‘
The cabin has a total of 30 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration with about half of the cabin occupied on this flight.

Seat 4A

My seat 4A was a window seat

Ethiopian Airlines business class is called Cloud Nine πŸ˜‰

The personal screen has good resolution

The IFE controls are modern and looks pretty much like the ones on Qatar Airways

Headphone and USB sockets

Power ports

Reading lamp attached to the magazine rack

Seat controls

Inflight magazines, safety instructions card and waste bag

Overhead lamp

Table

Coat hook

Privacy divider

The left armrest could be lowered when the seat is turned into a fully flat bed

Footrest

Fully flat bed

Blockbuster movie choices

Headphones

Unlike the modern windows on Ethiopian's Dreamliners, they have the old style window shades on their A350.

There are overhead cabins on both sides but not in the middle of the cabin making it look more spacious πŸ‘

As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by one of the cabin crew and moments later, bottles of mineral water were distributed and newspapers were also offered.

Predeparture drinks were also offered with a choice of water, orange juice and champagne.

I had a glass of water while Mike had a glass of bubbly πŸ˜‰

Hot towels were offered and menu cards were distributed. Refill of drinks were also offered a little later.

Pushback was at 10:25am.

Strangely though, the inflight safety video was not shown on the screen but instead was demonstrated by the flight attendants.

Dining

Ethiopian Airlines business class menu

Menu (Hot Light Meal)

Champagne and wine list

Beverage list, tea and coffee selection

Liquor, Aperitifs, Liqueurs, Beers

A few minutes after the seat belt sign was turned off, the flight attendants took our drinks  and main course order. I chose a glass of passion fruit juice and the pasta for my main course.

A glass of passion fruit juice

Orecchiette with Beef Carbonara ??? This is a pasta meal but I am sure that this is not orecchiete but more like spaghetti 😜

Beef Mongolian with Gratin Qorasama and Roasted Asparagus

I was able to taste the beef Mike had and unfortunately, it was hard.

Coffee and tea were also offered although Mike got some Lily O' Brien pralines while I wasn't offered any.

Green tea

Coffee

Lavatory

There are two lavatories located in front of the cabin which is a good thing, unlike their Dreamliner which only has one lavatory.


Hand cream and Eau de Cologne by French Ugo Vanelli

Toilet on Ethiopian A350

Landing in Kilimanjaro Airport

Views before landing in Kilimanjaro Airport

Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day and we were not able to see Mount Kilimanjaro (although we had luck on the return flight and had nice views of it  😍 )

Airshow enroute to Kilimanjaro

We landed at Kilimanjaro Airport around 12:36nn

A Fastjet Airbus A319-100 in Kilimanjaro Airport with a cool livery 🐦

After checking on the internet, it looks like this is the only aircraft Fastjet has at the moment although they have some more planes on order πŸ˜‰

We had about 50 minutes in Kilimanjaro Airport before we continued our flight to Zanzibar although it went quickly. Flight time to Zanzibar was announced to be 40 minutes.

The flight from Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar is only about an hour so it was a quick flight. It did not pick up any new passengers in Kilimanjaro that's probably why they think there's no need for even a drink service πŸ˜‰ The inflight entertainment system was also turned off.

Landing in Zanzibar

View before landing in Zanzibar Airport

We landed at Zanzibar Airport at 2:17pm, a few minutes ahead of schedule.

We landed on a remote stand but I really couldn't complain since almost always, I could take a CLOSER look of the plane and take pictures πŸ‘πŸ‘

There was also a separate bus for business class passengers which is always appreciated.

Private bus to the terminal

CONCLUSION

First, it was a very nice experience being able to fly on Ethiopian's very new A350 which I believe is only 8-9 months old. The seats were comfortable and the screen resolution/IFE controls were much better than the ones on their Dremliner. Most importantly, the seat turns into a fully flat bed so you won't slide down and there are two lavatories πŸ‘ The food was okay although I still don't get the orecchiette thing and Mike's Mongolian beef was hard. The lack of drinks service and IFE turned off between Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar was not a big deal but maybe could be improved in the future. Overall, it was a very nice flight with some little things to be improved πŸ˜‰