Over the summer I flew Ethiopian Airlines business class from Beijing to Addis Ababa on a 787, and then from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt on a 767.
Ethiopian 787 Addis Ababa Airport
While the 787 itself was sparkly, I was dumbfounded by the fact that Ethiopian chose to install angled business class seats on a brand new plane. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking on Ethiopian specifically here, as there are lots of airlines that do the same. Just look at Air France and Lufthansa with their A380s, for example.
While the flight was otherwise decent enough, the fact that the seats were angled just made it a not-so-pleasant flight.
Ethiopian’s old 787 business class product
Then again, the angled 787 product was still M-U-C-H better than the 767 I flew from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt, which I’m told is one of the best-kept ones in their fleet. 😉
Ethiopian’s disgusting 767 business class product
Anyway, it seems that Ethiopian has finally had a change of heart regarding their business class product on the 787.
Ethiopian Airlines’ 11th 787 was just delivered with fully flat seats in business class, per Ethiopian’s Facebook page.
Ethiopian’s new 787 business class product
That looks to me like a solid forward-facing business class product in a 2-2-2 configuration, and one I’d certainly consider flying in the future.
Kudos to Ethiopian on the upgrade. Here’s to hoping they retrofit at least some of their existing long-haul fleet with these seats.
I just flew on the 787 old style angle lay flat seat and was really disappointed. I am a tall man (6'4") the seat is very uncomfortable in the angle position. I really hope that my return flight I am a lucky one who will get the new seat. My second flight I was on the 767 and was happy with the seat (although old and dated it was comfortable. The IFE on both flights...
I just flew on the 787 old style angle lay flat seat and was really disappointed. I am a tall man (6'4") the seat is very uncomfortable in the angle position. I really hope that my return flight I am a lucky one who will get the new seat. My second flight I was on the 767 and was happy with the seat (although old and dated it was comfortable. The IFE on both flights is probably one of the worst I have experienced very few selections and the 767 only offered subtitle movies (no new releases). The food on both my flights was great. It was very nice to have some spice included.
Because of the unknown seat, and the risk of getting the old angle flat seat I would not recommend flying ethiopian Business class until the issue is resolved and all seats are upgraded.
@Lucky - Nobody flies ET for the on-board product. You fly ET because it gets you to/from points in Africa relatively on-time and safely.
ET used to offer at least 7 different business class products on long haul flights depending on the specific aircraft being flown. Now it's 8 products. Not really a difference.
On the bright side, a number of 767s are being returned to lessor in recent weeks so some of the worst products are disappearing from the system.
No intention to retrofit the earlier 787s (or 777s for that matter) anytime soon. So this will just be a pleasant surprise floating around the system waiting for the inevitable equipment substitution! :)
@ Sean M. -- Seriously?! So what's the strategy in offering a better product if people can't rely on it?
Unless they retrofit the earlier 10 787s or give the new one a unique equipment code, you might as well forget about this since you'd never know what you'll get.
Cecilie: they look _exactly_ the same, indeed. Not a bad product, except for the lack of all-aisle access or space that reverse herringbone gives you.
Now, the question is if they'll retrofit the earlier 787s.
They actually serve a hybrid Ethiopian-Western menu in J. Western starter, then Ethiopian food comes out on a cart and you can pick which dishes you like (or ask for a selection), followed by the Western main and dessert. The Ethiopian food is far better (duh.) Very glad to hear they're going 180'. Their routing (YYZ-ADD direct), service, and J pricing ($5300CAD for YYZ-ADD return) suit me just fine.
Do you know the route for this new plane?
@ smitty06 -- Hasn't been published.
The seats look like the AA C seats on the Airbus 32B
@ J G - My sentiments exactly! The picture is causing me to miss my time in Addis.
I've always been hesitant to fly Ethiopian Airlines for a variety of reasons. However, this new business class might be a reason to reconsider. Thanks for the post.
I am actually happy to see that the food is authentic Ethiopian with injera bread. Yum (but may not be to unadventurous western tastes).