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Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine (Business Class) 772 ADD-JNB

This was the longest and most interesting of the three flights we needed to take in order to get from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania to Cape Town, South Africa.  We departed from Addis Ababa (the Capital of Ethiopia and the main hub for Ethiopian Airlines) so we got to experience the ground service in their Capital.


Entrance to the Ethiopian Cloud Nine (Business Class) Lounge

Ethiopian refers to their Business Class product as “Cloud Nine” and their lounge is named accordingly.  The lounge had a small selection of food as well as three different Ethiopian beers which weren’t too bad.  It was also very crowded with the most diverse clientele I have ever seen in an airport lounge with African and Middle Eastern people in traditional dress, Western and Asian businessmen in suits, and me and Dhara dressed like homeless backpackers.


Ethiopian Beer Tasting at 7am

In order to get to and from most flights in Addis Ababa International Airport it is necessary to use a bus to connect from the gate to the actual plane.  I’ve never liked this, as it is generally very time consuming, and in this case it was also raining so we got a bit wet while boarding.  Although, aside from getting a bit wet while boarding I was overall very pleased with the level of comfort and service offered by Ethiopian.


Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772


Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772

This leg from Ethiopian’s hub of Addis Ababa to Johannesburg was blocked at 5 hours and 30 minutes and was operated by a Boeing 777-200 equipped with 34 angle-flat seats in the Business Class Cabin, which they refer to as “Cloud Nine”.  The seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration and we ended up being seated in the middle section because I was unable to change our seats online.  Luckily the Cloud Nine cabin was half empty so we had the three middle seats to ourselves and had a bit of privacy.


Three Middle Seats – Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772

Despite the modern look of the seats and entertainment systems something about the cabin seemed dated, and I think it might just have been the faded red and yellow color scheme because (as in the photo below) the cabin looks just as modern as any European or Asian Airline when you can’t see the red and yellow.


Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772

While still on the ground the flight attendants offered us a hot towel, newspapers, and welcome drinks (a choice between water, juice and champagne).  After our 9am take-off they distributed menus and explained that they would be coming though the cabin for a couple rounds of drinks and snacks and holding off on the main meal service until about three hours into the flight.  I had mixed feeling about this as I was already hungry but happy that would mean the main meal service was lunch instead of breakfast.


Printed Lunch & Drink Menus


Drink Menu

The menu included an explanation and brief history of Ethiopian cuisine, coffee, and snacks which I thought was pretty interesting.


History of special Ethiopian food, coffee, and snacks

The Starters and Main Courses were western dishes, followed by a sampling of Ethiopian specialties.


Western Starters & Mains


Taste of Ethiopia Sampler


Ethiopian Coffee & Airplane Shaped Crackers


Ethiopian Snack Called Kolo


Salmon Starter


Beef Main


Ethiopian Sampler


Ethiopian Sampler


Assorted Cheese Plate & Dessert Wine

We loved the food service, especially the Ethiopian dishes.  In fact, we’re contemplating a vacation to Ethiopia next year just so we can dine on injera and wot every day.  After lunch I finished watching the new Muppet movie which I had started earlier on my large personal screen.


Kermit doing his thing

Mrs. Potatohead went back to sleep on the angle-flat seats, which aren’t great for a full nights sleep, but are just fine for a nap on a daytime flight.


Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772 Angle-Flat Seats


Ethiopian Cloud Nine 772 Angle-Flat Seats

Overall we were very impressed with Ethiopian Airlines and would happily use them again to fly between two African destinations, or maybe even from the US to Addis Ababa if we do end up taking that trip to Ethiopia next year.

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