lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:14 pm

Hello everyone!

Welcome to this new trip report covering a trip taken almost a year ago. It highlights a pretty journey from Niamey, Niger to Paris, France with a stop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

BACKGROUND:

Due to professionnal reasons, I had to travel to Niger. I feel sorry that I couldn't do a trip report covering the journey from France to Niger. Anyway, I will post some photos showing some parts of this poor subsaharian country and, of course, an extensive coverage of the flight with Ethiopian Airlines in business class also called Cloud 9 by ET.

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Courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper

Before the actual flight, let me show you some photos of my time in this SOOOOO warm country!

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Streets of Niamey, the capital city of Niger
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Entrance of a juice company
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One of the gates leading to the main market of Niamey
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Grasshoppers on sale...just like hot dogs! It's actually not that bad to eat with lots of spices...just a bit too crispy
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The ministry of oil, one of the leading sector in one of the poorest country of the world
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Charles de Gaulle bridge crossing the river Niger
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Niger riverside...yes, it is situated downtown Niamey! I never thought finding such a green place in Niamey
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They are not gold vaults...they are just twin watertanks! Water is probably more precious than gold in this country...
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Crossing the River Niger
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Beware to the camel on the road

Now, let's move further in the countryside...

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Nothing but dust
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Crossing a donkey or...
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...riding a horse
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Friendly people waving at me
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Crossing some small village
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That is Sahel
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Something to remind me that it is a dangerous region...huge billboards about disarmament
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City Gates are famous in Niger..."bon voyage" (safe travel)
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A new way to carry cattle
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A cute colorful mosque
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and here is the main mosque of Niamey
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for all the avgeeks...a slightly worn out Dornier 28 and Tetra ultralight of the Nigerien Air Force...

Now, let's start the actual trip report.

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Welcome to Niamey Airport. Heavily guarded by the Nigerien Gendarmerie.

After reaching the airport with a taxi, I had to enter the terminal building. In order to check in, I had to go through a very intrusive control of my bag. At least, the policeman who did that was very friendly. I headed directly to the sole check in counter dedicated to Cloud 9 passengers. Having checked-in online the day before, I secured window seats all the way to Paris. By the way, the whole process from booking to OLCI was quite smooth on the ethiopian website.

Sorry for quality of the pictures but taking pictures at the airport is very sensitive and I didn't want to go to jail...I just wanted to go home!

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This is some kind of buffer zone in between the check in and the security checkpoint
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Security on the left and duty free on the right
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After being greeted by the friendly lounge dragon who took the order for me. I sat on the lounge which was very basic and used by all the airlines serving NIM. Anyway, it was still better than waiting on the common airside area.
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Common waiting area
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I waited boarding time enjoying a can of bissap juice and reading Air Burkina's inflight magazine.

Soon enought, boarding was called. It was a common call for everyone and we had to go through a third security screening before boarding a bus.
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Overlooking the third security screening
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It's not obvious on this picture but the load of this flight looks very healthy in both Y and C.
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Guess who's hidden?
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Good answer...a pretty looking ET's Boeing 737-800 getting prepared for it's flight back to Addis Abeba.

05.04.2017
Flight # : ET936
Departure airport : Niamey Diori Hamani International (NIM/DRRN)
Arrival airport : Addis Ababa Bole International (ADD/HAAB)
ETD : 1255
ATD : 1300
ETA : 2035
ATA : 2010
Scheduled flight time : 05:40
Actual flight time : 05:10
Aircraft type : Boeing 737-800
Reg # : ET-APM
Seat : 04L


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View over the control tower
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Walking on the apron in order to board my first ET flight
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No airbridges in NIM so boarding must be done with airstairs...quite enjoyable

We were greeted by very nice and polite FAs.

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Very comfy configuration. My first impression is that the cabin is very bright and comfortable. European airlines must take a look on what is done here! I am fed up of the sardine can we have in Europe!
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My seat is waiting for me and no neighbor! Well done! ET provides a small bottle of water, a blanket, a pillow and a small amenity kit
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Generous legroom and seat details. Unfortunately, no IFE, only overhead screens.
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Here we go!
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Seat pocket content. Quite a lot if I may say
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The amenity kit
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Pre-departure drinks were served. I think it was champagne...what a nice way to start a long journey back home.
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As NIM doesn't taxiways, we had to backtrack on the runway which gave the opportunity to spot the military apron full of US C-130s...yes, a war on terror is ongoing in the region...
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NIM has only one paved runway hence the 09R...09L is actually a dirt strip...
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09R runway threshold
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Accelerating on the runway...spotting an interesting wreck...a Il-62! I never saw one!
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Almost airborne
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Here we are! Back in the skies!
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A wall surrounds the airport perimeter as you can see on the photo
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Bye Niger, it took quite a long time before going over the thick layer of the subsaharian dirt.
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Finally over the clouds
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Overflying nothing but gorgeous deserts
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A tasteful ethiopian honey wine was offered by the lovely FA. Actually, Ethiopian produces some wine.
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I discovered the best...Kolo! Such a nice way to enjoy a great ethiopian honey wine.
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Especially with such a view
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What's on the menu today? And some explanation on what is Kolo...
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Starter
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I chose the ginger beef which turned to be very flavorful. It tastes better than it looks
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Cheese platter...well, as a frenchman, I'm not used to eat cheese with crackers but I can't blame them!
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Dessert with cinnamon tea

It was quite a filling and tasty meal. Added with lovely and chatty FA, I think that ET has a very good on board product.

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Overflying Chad
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African skies are so beautiful
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Cabin is getting ready for landing in ADD
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Addis Abeba suburbs. I must pay a visit to this country one day...
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Welcome to Bole International, hub of Ethiopian Airlines
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Thanks for the ride! Cloud 9 passengers are entitled to get a specific shuttle to reach the terminal. As ADD elevation is above 2300m, the temperature was very chilly not that I dislike cold ;)

Transiting in ADD is very smooth and easy. When the terminal will reach european standard it will greatly improve passenger's experience?
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Where does this lead?
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Thank you! I wish to visit you next time!
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Long and bland corridor
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It looks like a line of shacks
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This is the place to go...otherwise, there is nothing much interesting to do in the transit area.
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The lounge was crowded but there was a wide choice of food and drinks, free wifi and comfortable seating.
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The terminal is basically a long line of boarding gates serving a wide range of destination throughout all Africa and some key markets in Asia and Europe (as well as in the Americas)
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Lufthansa getting ready for its flight back to Frankfurt via Jeddah if I remember correctly
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The boarding gate assigned to the Brussels-Paris-bound flight. The boarding will be very well organized...
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Ramp action around a nice looking Boeing 787-8 while the LH's A330-300 is taxiing
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China is very active in Africa and in Ethiopia especially. ET has even chinese-speaking counters dedicated for these passengers. Nice touch!

Unfortunately, gate assignement has changed. So, the only thing to do is to go downstairs for a boarding by bus. And a full 788 is a bit too much for the tiny ground floor boarding gate.
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Let's go downstairs
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No Cloud9 bus this time but priority boarding enforced...anyway, I will finally boarding my last flight
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The first time I see an A350-900 in real! How nice it is!
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Widebody operation in ADD


06.04.2016
Flight # : ET704
Departure airport : Addis Ababa Bole International (ADD/HAAB)
Arrival airport : Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG/LFPG)
ETD : 2345
ATD : 0015
ETA : 0630+1
ATA : 0650
Scheduled flight time : 07:45
Actual flight time : 07:35
Aircraft type : Boeing 787-8 "Mountain Nyala"
Reg # : ET-ASH
Seat : 03A



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Also my first time boarding a 788! What a gorgeous looking plane!
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Exhausted but still excited (as usual) to board a plane!

I was greeted by a rather uninterested FA and I made my way in the crowded Cloud9 cabin. Finally, I settled in my comfortable seat
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Ample legroom and nice touchscreen which was very responsive however I prefer to control the screen with a remote controller as I don't need to wake up ;)
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Another bottle of water was present.
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OJ as pre-departure drink
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Amenity kit (the same as on the flight from NIM) and oshibori
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The famous Dreamliner windowshade controller!
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Boarding still in progress. This flight is going to be quite full.
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Still a long way from home
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Seat pocket content plenty of reading material
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Today's flight menu. I chose the meat ravioli for the light meal and the plain omelette for breakfast.
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Pushback
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Good bye to Bole Int'l
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TK's B738 getting prepared for its flight back to IST
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Taxiing
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Airborne in the cold ethiopian night
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Last glimpse of Addis Abeba before overflying a very dark countryside. There was almost no lights on the ground before reaching Europe
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Starter : Salmon - average
Main course : Ravioli - awful
Dessert : Madeleine - delicious! Crispy and moist at the same time. Perfect!

After a sleepless-night due to the excitation of being reunited with my loved ones, it was time for breakfast.

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There is nothing much to talk about. Average to say the least.
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Overflying Milan
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Getting closer to home
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On approach to Paris CDG
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Paris by night
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Turning for an eastward approach
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Vacating the runway
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Taxiing towards CDG Terminal 2A
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Almost docked

Deboarding was quite disorganized due to quite unruly passengers...welcome to France...sigh

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Last look to my ride. Thank you Mountain Nyala!
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Walking towards immigration and baggage claim.

Using PARAFE automated passport control, I was landside very quickly.

CONCLUSION :
NIM - Quite nice African airport. I felt very safe in regard with all the security screenings I went through. Having read many horror stories about african airports, I am very impressed by this airport.
ADD - Very effective hub but doesn't reach european standards in terms of accomodation. It needs to improve a bit comfort-wise. Anyway, I was quite pleased to transit through this airport and look forward to go back there.
CDG - Smooth and effective experience. I was landside very quickly.
ET - Interesting airline connecting Africa to the rest of the world in a very effective way. It just lacks of consistency in terms of onboard product (soft product)

Thank you very much for reading this quite long trip report. I hope you've enjoyed. I look forward to have a feedback on it. Feel free for comment!

Very best regards to all!


LYSflyer

Links to my previous TR :
Swiss Economy LYS-ZRH-EWR
Aegean Airlines A3633/A3632-LYS-ATH-LYS-Inaugural
Brussels Airlines SN3588 - LYS-BRU - Economy
Adria Airways JP395 - BRU-LJU - Economy
Adria Airways JP376 - LJU-BRU - Economy
Brussels Airlines SN3591 - BRU-LYS - Economy
TAP By Portugalia Economy LYS-LIS
Air France Economy MRS-ORY
Turkish Airlines MRS-IST Economy
Ryanair MRS-TUF Low-cost
 
User avatar
hirofumi
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:21 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:44 am

Nice report from the country that I've been so keen on visiting! The riverside in Niamey looks beautiful.

Ethiopian is great airline and now is my favorite way to travel to Africa. They have greatly improved their in-flight service in recent years and your photos reconfirmed that again. Great crew and food!

I think the menu you've posted for Niamey to Addis Ababa is not the actual sector? I thought Ethiopian dish items were only served on flights departing Addis Ababa, and not the other way round. Unless, they have changed their policy.

The "Ivoria" bissap juice looks quite attractive! I must try that when I'm there :-)

Thanks for the fun.
 
lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:33 am

Hi hirofumi, the menu is for this actual sector (inbound Ethiopia). Actually, I was looking forward to get Kolo on the ADD-CDG sector but it never came...perhaps due to the departure time?
Bissap juice is very good! You should try it!

Nigerien are extremely friendly. Too bad that Niger is so poor. Hopefully, situation will improve for them in the next years. While security situation can be worrying in many parts of the country. It is very quiet within Niamey.
 
SQueeze
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:31 pm

Merci pour le TR. I am curious about Niger, the river Bank is so gorgeous.

ET’s amenities seem interesting, seem to be multi coloured. Did you get a choice of what colour we can get? or they load all the same colours for each flight?
 
lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:03 pm

Thank you for the comment SQueeze. Well, no matter the color, amenity kits were the same. I think they load only one color per flight and the quality can be improved despite the tiny pocket is very useful for my own needs ;)
 
gte439u
Posts: 340
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:49 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:08 pm

Thank you for the great trip report. I really appreciated your photos from Niger in addition to the aviation photos.
 
lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:41 pm

Thank you very much gte439u. I try to post as much photos of my destinations as possible because I find interesting to see what is happening on the ground...especially for not much covered places.
 
bgboiflyer
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:11 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:04 am

Like those Niger pics. Not talked about a lot in the US, but that helps me learn a bit more of this country. ADD looks like a nice place to transit in
 
vinniewinnie
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:23 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:17 am

Hi lysflyer, I’m surprised you didn’t take Air france. I mean this is a huge detour!

Niger is an endearing country. It really lacks the basics but it’s charming, especially on the riverbank. There is not much to do in the area considered Safe for foreigners other than the capital and the giraffes outside Niamey.

NIM and add or both dumps in my experience (flying economy). I would not recommend staying in either of these airports very long!
 
lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:11 am

Vinniewinnie, pricewise AF was more expensive than ET and arrival time was pretty much the same.
Moreover, I try to fly Star Alliance whenever it's possible.
Finally, I am an avgeek!
 
aahammayo
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:05 pm

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:58 pm

Great report, good to see photos of Niger as well.
 
User avatar
BawliBooch
Posts: 1235
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:31 pm

Awesome pics @lysflyer! Have to plan a trip to Niger soon! :P
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle! on twitter @Banwaarilal
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1810
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:25 pm

Is it true that the seats are not completely "flat" on Ethiopian. I noticed one needs a Yellow Fever shot for Ethiopia and was wondering if this is required to even change planes there. That puts me off from going on Ethiopian.
 
User avatar
aerorobnz
Posts: 8119
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 pm

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:17 pm

lychemsa wrote:
Is it true that the seats are not completely "flat" on Ethiopian. I noticed one needs a Yellow Fever shot for Ethiopia and was wondering if this is required to even change planes there. That puts me off from going on Ethiopian.


The 788 seats are partially refitted so some that have been delivered recently are in the newer A350/789 style seat, they rotate new and old config anywhere the 787 flies with no predictability.
As far as Yellow Fever, I have not been asked to present my certificate any of the times I have transited ADD. If you're travelling to Africa as your destination though, you may as well have the jab.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
lysflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business

Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:31 pm

@aahammayo, thank you very much. I appreciate
@BawliBooch, thank you a lot! I do my best to keep my readers entertained
@lychemsa, my seat was pretty flat actually. As for the transit in ADD, I was never asked anything nor I passed through immigration. It was a full airside transit (only a security screening prior the outbound flight.

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