Ethiopian Airlines’ New London-Maun Route and Cloud9 Business Class Reviewed

Ethiopian Airlines’ New London-Maun Route and Cloud9 Business Class Reviewed

Ethiopian Airlines has recently been crowned the best airline in Africa for 2023 at the prestigious Oscars of Aviation. As the continent’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines has earned its title through exceptional service and a vast network of destinations.

This accolade is a testament to its growing influence and commitment to excellence in the aviation industry.

Starting from June, Ethiopian Airlines will introduce thrice-weekly flights from London Heathrow to Maun, Botswana, the gateway to the Okavango Delta, and twice-weekly flights from Manchester, via Addis Ababa.

A Seamless Start: London to Addis Ababa

My journey with Ethiopian Airlines began at London Heathrow, where I boarded an A350 aircraft to Addis Ababa.

Equipped with my phone in camera mode, I was ready to test their Cloud9 business class. My final destination was Gaborone, Botswana, for a conference, and I aimed to evaluate the airline’s service thoroughly.

The airport experience was smooth and efficient.

I had checked in online, allowing me to breeze through Heathrow’s Terminal 2 fast-track security lanes, a privilege for Star Alliance premium passengers.

Traveling with only hand luggage for a week-long trip to Africa was a breeze.

Heathrow offers a variety of Star Alliance lounges, including Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge, Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge, and the Lufthansa Lounge. I chose the United Club for a pre-flight glass of Champagne at the bar overlooking the runway.

In-Flight Comfort: Cloud9 Business Class

The overnight flight to Addis Ababa was aboard an Airbus A350, featuring Ethiopian Airlines’ Cloud9 business class. This class offers 30 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring each passenger has aisle access.

The newer Safran Optima seats, despite their vibrant red and green upholstery in Ethiopian’s signature colors, provided a luxurious feel.

For added privacy, I recommend booking an even-numbered seat near the window.

My seat came with a well-stocked amenities kit, including a hairbrush, toothbrush with Colgate toothpaste, socks, an eye mask, lip balm, ear plugs, and hand sanitizer. The seat itself was spacious, offering generous legroom and a deep footwell.

When fully reclined, the seat measures 79 inches (200 cm) and is 21 inches (53 cm) wide. The 17-inch (43 cm) TV screen was impressive, although the headphones were fairly basic for business class.

Dining and Sleeping at Altitude

I had heard mixed reviews about the lengthy meal service on overnight flights, but I was eager to sample the traditional Ethiopian dishes. Unfortunately, these were reserved for my onward flight to Gaborone.

Instead, I was served a beef pastrami salad, skipped the soup, and enjoyed Chicken Milanese, reflecting Ethiopia’s Italian influence.

After the meal, I converted my seat into a fully flat bed. The seat design accommodates side sleepers well, and the electronic controls were easy to use.

Although the seat lacked a door or screen, its cocoon shape provided a sense of privacy. I slept comfortably under the light green duvet, though a seat topper would have enhanced the experience.

Service and Overall Experience

Throughout the flight, Ethiopian Airlines’ staff were friendly and attentive, significantly contributing to a positive experience.

The Cloud9 business class seats, especially on the A350, are comparable to those of other major international airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines’ extensive network spans over 60 destinations across Africa, making it a strong choice for travelers. Whether embarking on a safari or attending a conference, the airline offers reliable and comfortable service.

Travel Facts

Cloud9 business class tickets from London to Maun, via Addis Ababa, start at £2,180 ($2,737), while economy class tickets start at £817 ($1,024). For more information, visit Ethiopian Airlines.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ethiopian Airlines has firmly established itself as Africa’s premier airline. With expanding routes and commendable service, it provides a viable and appealing option for travelers heading to Africa. If you’re planning a trip to the continent, Ethiopian Airlines should be at the top of your list.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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