With recent delivers of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and orders for the Airbus A350, Ethiopian Airlines is positioning itself to become a global airline. Based is in Addis Ababa, located in the horn of South Africa, this hub allows for connections to southern parts of Africa or eastward to middle east and western asian cities. As a Star Alliance member, Reward Flying to South Africa has now become a reality.
Until the Airbus A350 arrives (the first one is on the production schedule), their international fleet consists of the 787, Boeing 777 200 and 300 series, along with a few remaining 767-300's which are due to be retired no later than 2018.
Ethiopian Premium Class
Ethiopian calls their business class Cloud Nine.
Ethiopian has taken delivery of the Airbus A350. They have chosen a modified version of the B/E Aerospace Parallel Diamond seat with a 2x2x2 configuration. There are 30 seats in the 5 row Cloud Nice cabin. The pitch is 60-61" and width of these seats are 21" with a moveable armrest. The seats are lie-flat.
This aircraft is configured for high density with 343 total passenger seats. Economy is 313 seats in a 3x3x3 configuration. Economy seats are 18" wide. All seats have high-definition touchscreen IFE systems. Wi-Fi was not initially installed on the aircraft but has been promised.
Ethiopian has 14 A350 aircraft on order.
On the Boeing 787-8 there are 24 Cloud Nine lie-flat seats which are the catalogue Zodiac Aura Lite model, tilting 180 degrees. They have a 65 inch pitch and are almost 21 inches wide. The cabin is laid out with 4 rows of 2x2x2 configuration. IFE is a 15.4 inch monitor imbedded in the forward seat with 85 channels of programming. Economy has 246 seat in their Dreamliner. Currently they have 13 787-8 series with 6 more on order and 2 additional 9 series variant to be delivered at a later date.
Ethiopian flies both the 200 and 300 variant. Cloud Nine seat is the same lie flat seat on the 787 with 65 inches pitch as well along with the same IFE monitor. These cabins have 34 Cloud Nine seats. If you would like to take a virtual tour of their 777, click here. They have 10 triple sevens in their fleet.
NOTE: THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME DISCREPANCY ON WHETHER THE BUSINESS CLASS SEATS ARE LIE FLAT OR ANGLED FLAT. ETHIOPIAN'S WEBSITE CLAIMS 180 DEGREES FLAT, BUT TRIP REPORTS AND OTHER SOURCES CLAIM THE SEATS ARE 160 DEGREES ANGLED. IT IS POSSIBLE THE SEATS ON NEW AIRCRAFT DELIVERIES ARE LIE FLAT AND PRIOR INSTALLATIONS WERE ANGLED FLAT. HOWEVER IF TRUE, THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL WHICH AIRCRAFT HAS WHICH SEAT.
Cloud Nine 767-300
Cloud nine on the older 767-300 are reclining seats to 15 inches with 65 inches pitch. There are 24 Cloud Nine seats in the 767.
images courtesy Ethiopian Airways, Boeing
Have you flown on Ethiopian Airlines? Share your experience with others in the comments section.