Trip Report: Ethiopian Airlines (A350-900) Cloud Nine (Business) ADD-JRO

The Details

  • Flight: ET815
  • Aircraft: A350-900
  • Class: Cloud Nine/Business
  • Seat: 4A
  • Route: Addis Ababa Bole International (ADD)-Kilimanjaro International (JRO)
  • Distance: 833 miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 27min
  • Departure: 10:56AM
  • Arrival: 12:48PM

The Preflight

After arriving from my connecting flight from Accra, I had a roughly 12 hour layover in Addis Ababa until my final flight to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. While I had been provided a hotel night at the Radisson Blu by Ethiopian Airlines, I was waiting for my SO who was arriving on a later flight.

I headed towards to Cloud Nine Lounge 2 which is open to all Ethiopian Airlines business class passengers.

Upon entering, there was a seating area centered around a coffee station.

There was a fair amount of sofa seating.

There was a bar area which was unfortunately closed overnight.

There was also a buffet area that offered an excellent selection of local foods.

I had some delicious beef and chicken dishes with some excellent Injera bread.

While there was no beds available in the lounge, there was a small room with a few recliner chairs. I managed to nap for about three hours until my SO arrived. I met her in the terminal area and we spent the rest of the night and early morning in the gate area.

Once the morning rush of international arrivals began at Addis Ababa, we had excellent views of a few widebodies including B787s and A350s.

Our A350-900, registration ET-AUC, was delivered brand new to Ethiopian Airlines in October 2017. She was named “Abyssinia”.

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 9:40AM local time but was delayed by 30 minutes until 10:10AM. All passengers boarded via door 2L and I turned left towards the business class cabin.

The Flight

Ethiopian Airlines has a total of 30 business class seats onboard their A350s arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. All of the Cloud Nine seats are between doors 1 and 2 across five rows.

These seats are Parallel Diamond seats with 65″ of pitch and 22″ of width. When fully lie-flat, each seat is 78″ long. Awaiting each passenger at their seat was a pillow, blanket, water bottle, and amenity kit.

The IFE screen was large and responsive. I appreciated the quality of the flight map.

Once most of the business class passengers were seated, flight attendants came through the cabin offering a predeparture drink. Options included champagne, water, or orange juice.

A menu was also provided.

Boarding was completed at 10:26AM but had a long taxi to the runway. Finally, at 10:55 we took off. bound for Tanzania.

Once we reached cruising altitude, the flight attendants came through with a beverage service. I had a second glass of champagne. Warm towels were also distributed.

The appetizer and dessert for the lunch service was all presented on one tray. The starter was a delicious king prawn, the salad was couscous, the dessert vanilla cake, and the cheese course a prepackaged cheese.

For my main dish I went with the salmon fillet with ratatouille and a side of pasta. I found the salmon to be OK.

After the main meal service, flight attendants came through with a coffee and tea cart. I had a cup of black coffee and also had a glass of excellent Ethiopian Merlot.

It was a beautiful ride down to Tanzania.

As we neared JRO, the peak of Kilimanjaro could be seen from the window.

We landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport at 12:48PM and had a very quick taxi to the remote stand. Deplaning was done via two separate air stairs from doors 2L and 4L.

Thanks for the ride!

Ethiopian Airlines offers a great hard product for flight within the continental Africa. I appreciate that they operate newer aircraft such as the A350 and B787 on many of their intra-Africa routes. While the catering could be improved upon, I found this flight to be enjoyable.

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