We flew with Ethiopian Airlines on the Dreamliner from Hong Kong to Addis Ababa last week. The flight originates in Manila, flying out of the Philippines at 910 PM and it makes a one-hour stopover in Hong Kong to pick up passengers heading for Ethiopia.
BUSINESS CLASS ON ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
This was our first time flying with Ethiopian Airlines and business class on the Dreamliner was very comfortable. It’s a 2-2-2 configuration with four rows in the cabin. The business class seats are spacious and they recline to a satisfactory sleeping position angle.
YELLOW COLOR SCHEME
From the moment you enter the cabin, you get a distinctly African vibe. The color scheme in the cabin is bright and cheerful, which is a refreshing change from the muted hues of most other mainstream international airlines. The duvet quickly comes to mind as it’s golden yellow. But it’s also perfect for sleeping as it’s lightweight but plush.
Even the overnight kits handed out in business class were of the same bright yellow color. Inside were the usual amenities, including yellow socks and a yellow eye mask.
Keep those yellow socks, by the way, as they’ll come in handy when visiting churches in Ethiopia that require visitors to remove their shoes.
THE TRADITIONAL DRESS OF ETHIOPIA
Meanwhile, the flight attendants also wore the most beautiful uniforms. The stewardesses wore the traditional Ethiopian dress of white cotton with woven trimmings, and they did so with such grace that I’d made up my mind to buy a few traditional dresses even before dinner onboard had been served.
INFLIGHT MEALS OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
Speaking of dinner, our meals onboard Ethiopian Airlines were tasty and hearty. The salads were complete meals in themselves, served in porcelain bowls.
When I landed in Addis Ababa, the capital, however, I realised that these inflight catering salads were just an extension of the food in Ethiopia. Every meal we have had here so far has been accompanied by a heaping plate of vegetables.
In addition, Ethiopian wines were served onboard. We enjoyed a very nice white wine from the Rift Valley, which is the general area for growing grapes for wine in Ethiopia.
WARM & FRIENDLY INFLIGHT SERVICE
The service onboard is warm and friendly, as are the people of Ethiopia in general. Everyone onboard was smiling and helpful, and some even gave us extra servings of sweets with twinkles in their eyes.
GOOD SELECTION OF MOVIES & MUSIC ON THE DREAMLINER
The inflight entertainment onboard Ethiopian Airlines deserves special mention as it surpasses many airlines with overall higher ratings. There are so many movies and music to choose from, and we found the choices to be very well curated. So flyers who need good inflight entertainment on a long-haul flight will not be disappointed with the Ethiopian Airlines experience.
Would I fly Ethiopian Airlines on a long haul flight again? Of course I would. They have good schedules for Dreamliner flights that leave Asia for Addis Ababa. Most depart in the evening and land in the morning.
The airline also has the best connections to other destinations in Africa. We also have been flying their domestic route on this trip, and this too has been quite satisfactory. But I’ll save this for another post.
Read more about traveling to Ethiopia in the upcoming issue of Travelife Magazine.