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Paris-Arusha: I tested the Business Class of Ethiopian Airlines for you

Flight onboard a B787 Dreamliner


The world’s biggest zoo is undoubtedly found in Tanzania. Unfortunately, getting there is still not very practical. Ethiopian Airlines, thanks to its four weekly flights via Addis-Abeba, enables this liaison that we tested in the “Cloud Nine” class!



Ethiopian Airlines operates four weekly flights to the destination of Adis-Abeba, its hub, from which it is possible to get to Arusha - Photo Wikipedia Uploaded by Jetstreamer
Ethiopian Airlines operates four weekly flights to the destination of Adis-Abeba, its hub, from which it is possible to get to Arusha - Photo Wikipedia Uploaded by Jetstreamer
“Cloud Nine,” such is the name of Ethiopian Airlines’ Business Class and don’t ask us why…

That’s how it is, but it is true that the Cloud Nine of this Business Class reflects that of many airline companies.

Ethiopian Airlines operates four weekly flights towards Adis-Abeba, its hub, from which it is possible to reach Arusha, and the tracks leading to the world’s largest natural zoo in Tanzania.

Boarding from Paris CDG, terminal 2A. Surely, there’s a dedicated check-in counter, the luggage is expedited rapidly, and voilà, heading to the company’s lounge made available by the Paris Airports.

At the terminal 2A, it is the “Le Paris” lounge. Honestly not the best in the airport, but it is comfortable and well ventilated.

It is bit of a shame that for “dinner”, there are just a few bland lonely looking sandwiches. Fortunately, the wines served at the bar are of great quality…

Our night flight enables us to escape the crowd at the security control, especially since the security personnel is often understaffed at CDG.

But going through “Access N1” eases the operations and, for once, we won’t have to take off our shoes. This is an evening “without!”

An almost brand-new B787 Dreamliner

The meal is original, but the choice between “chicken or fish” is a bit limited - DR: Ethiopian Airlines.
The meal is original, but the choice between “chicken or fish” is a bit limited - DR: Ethiopian Airlines.
Despite the strike of our fellow traffic controllers, our flight is almost on time.

Traditional boarding in a Dreamliner B787 that is almost brand-new, and then the magical charm of Africa takes over immediately.

The “Cloud Nine” cabin is cozy, with bright colors, an appropriate lighting for a night flight, and an entirely female air crew. With an undeniable charm…

The Business class is conceived with three rows of two seats each, that we can explore right after receiving a glass of champagne, amiably served with a smile that would make the whole North Pole melt if global warming hadn’t gotten there already.

The seat is large, comfortable, all in leather, fully electric, and the space between the rows is of 1.65 meters.

There is lots of storage, including a particularly clever space to put your shoes away, and to slip on the socks (with non-slip soles), in order to feel more comfortable.

The hygiene kit, of bright colors (bright green on the way, bright yellow on the return) contains everything necessary.

Despite the late hour, it is almost 11:00 pm, the Cloud Nine Class offers a meal to its passengers.

The meal is unique, but the choice between “chicken or fish” is a bit limited.

However, the cheese selection is well adapted, and the drinks are of great quality: the smooth chablis was quite pleasant, while our neighbor tasted a great “rioja” red with quite some emotion.

And since friendliness reigns onboard, the stewardess provided him with the corkscrew so he could open the bottle himself.

The seat reclines to 160°

The seat is large, comfortable, made of leather, fully electric, and the space between the rows is of 1.65m - DR: Ethiopian Airlines.
The seat is large, comfortable, made of leather, fully electric, and the space between the rows is of 1.65m - DR: Ethiopian Airlines.
After the digestive, sleep comes easily. The seat reclines to 160°, but that doesn’t keep us from spending quite a lovely night.

To an extent that even the odors of the breakfast didn’t suffice to emerge from this long rejuvenating sleep.

But, from the echoes of my travel companions, this breakfast was one of the best they’ve ever tasted: warm croissants, omelettes or crepes, cafe, tea, and even hot chocolate for those with a sweet tooth.

However, we would have appreciated a pre-landing expresso.

As for onboard entertainment, the set-up is what’s expected for an international Business Class: the screen, located at the side of the front seat, is large (39 cm), and of great quality, same thing for the headphones.

A large choice of films is offered, same thing for the games, music, and other entertainments that one may not necessarily use during a night flight…

The arrival at Addis-Abeba and the changing of aircrafts towards Arusha take place smoothly.

A rapid customs check, and the lounge of Ethiopian allows us to wait peacefully for take-off towards the ultimate goal of our trip…where we will be welcomed by a couple of the world’s most beautiful lions!

Written by Dominique Gobert translated by Joséphine Foucher the 15/05/2015
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