Ethiopian Airlines resumed direct flights from Ethiopia to Russia at the end of August (flights were suspended due to the events of February 24; until that time they were carried out with a technical stop in Athens) and have since gained quite impressive popularity. Not because many people desperately need Addis Ababa, but because the capital of Ethiopia currently hosts the largest hub in Africa. From Addis Ababa, you can get to almost the same destinations that Emirates fly from Dubai or Qatar from Doha. But the prices look more attractive than those of the Middle Eastern giants. As for the service, this is the second question. By the way, I would like to note that the occupancy of the boards on all four flights of Ethiopian Airlines was 100 percent.
But the lack of daily flights to Russia is a significant drawback of the Ethiopians, unlike the same Emirates. Because of this, there are no convenient connections for the dates you need. 3 flights a week to Moscow, and even not on very roomy Boeing 787 or 777-200, is categorically not enough.
In this review, I will not touch on 7-hour flights from Russia to Ethiopia and back, but will talk about a more exotic route - from Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) to the Seychelles (Victoria).
The beginning of this review should be considered not the road to the airport, but the transit area of It used to be called the airport. Haile Selassie, - the name of a man, small in stature, but of great greatness - the emperor of Ethiopia. It is very strange that contemporaries renamed the airport, because Haile Selassie was and remains an idol for the country.
If, however, to be mercantile and more accurate, then the beginning of the review should be assumed to be the airfield of Bole airport, since when I was in Ethiopia for the first time, I did not step on the artificial floor of the air bridge leading to the transit zone, but took the first step on the asphalt in the middle of the parking lot of Bole airport .
As always happens, when passengers find themselves in a non-trivial environment, they take photos to capture this moment, which I did. What could be better than taking a photo while being in the middle of the airfield of a new airport for you after sitting for a long time in the stuffy atmosphere of an airplane on the smell of something unfamiliar and unusual air of another continent next to the wide-body monster that brought you here:
Still, when the plane taxis not to the air bridge, but stops somewhere in the parking lot, from where passengers are taken by bus to the terminal, it is much brighter and more fun in terms of familiarizing yourself with the infrastructure of an unfamiliar airport. After a little trampling in the unexpectedly cool air of Ethiopia, I get into a battered apron bus:
The bus took me to the terminal, where I go through control in just a few seconds. I read that many complained that during the control in Addis Ababa they had to take off their shoes and walk on the dirty floor in white socks. There you really have to take off your shoes, but the floor is carpeted and therefore you don’t feel discomfort without shoes. After passing the control, I find myself in a clean area of But perhaps this feeling is false, since the terminal is simply extended along one axis. First of all, I'm looking for a scoreboard to understand in which direction my gate is.
My gate is C3, and in which direction it is - I still had no idea. But there are still three hours before departure, which means that I have at least two hours to leisurely familiarize myself with the airport, shops or cafes.
After the inspection, I got to the gate zone A. If you stand facing the window and look to the left, then somewhere there, behind zone A, there will be zone C and my gate:
But go there for now didn't intend to. Outside the window, the day was just beginning, the rising sun began to dazzle the view of the airfield:
I decided to look around and understand what could surprise Addis Ababa airport.
In the middle of the hall there were three duty shops fries. One of them was called - Addis Ababa duty free:
There was nothing special in it - mostly chocolate, some giant sneakers, interspersed with perfume. There was absolutely no system, merchandising in duty free was limping on both legs. In addition, price tags were not everywhere present.
The second duty free shop, called Millenium duty free, corresponded in its characteristics to the first one, with the only difference that it sold booze.
The third duty free even more reminiscent of a general store than the first two, but it was crowded with a lot of people. It seemed, why all of a sudden? Pushing my way through the passengers, I realized the reason - real Ethiopian coffee was sold here - in beans, ground and different varieties. Coffee prices were very pleasant - $6 for a pack of 250 g and $11 for a pack of half a kilo - at the current exchange rate, not a price, but a fairy tale. There were packs and kilos.
Passengers took armfuls of coffee. Not the last role was played by excitement. He wanted to buy me too, but he only restrained himself because in a week I had to be at the Addis Ababa airport again, and then I would take my own.
In addition to duty-free shops, there were small retail outlets and cafes:
I noticed (this can be seen in the photo above) that the main inscriptions on the signs were in English, and the native Ethiopian abugida and Chinese characters were, as it were, duplicates.
On the side opposite the window with access to the parking lot, from the second tier of the terminal, the entrance to the departure area from the city side was visible. Through the window on this side, Addis Ababa was visible under the rays of the rising sun:
On the same side of the terminal was Sheba Silver Lounge - a waiting room for business class passengers, which was almost empty:]BR]
The view of the airfield was uniform in terms of liveries of the sides - everything that came into view was a local spill:
After inspecting the terminal, I went to my gate. I was thirsty, and a small bottle of sparkling water from the last flight, which was not taken away at the inspection, did not quench my thirst. On the way, in one of the cafes, I bought local juice, which turned out to be very good:
Having found my terminal, I noticed that boarding for the current flight ended through it, mine will be as follows:]BR]
Some passengers hurriedly stood at the end of the line, but when they got to the control, they returned back - they were told that the boarding in Somalia was still ending, and their flight was next.
I sat on an empty seat in waiting for the start of boarding, which should have been signaled by the C3 gate board.
The city was visible through a clear window. Bole Airport is located directly within the boundaries of Addis Ababa, the residential development of which was literally a few hundred meters from the airport:
Interestingly, Terminal C was on the first floor, and boarding from it to the plane It was carried out not through the air bridge, but on the ground, by transporting buses to the aircraft. A week later, from the same terminal and also by bus, I went to Moscow. In total, there are 12 gates in terminal C and they are always on the move, the terminal is very overloaded with passengers.
After some time, they shouted that boarding a plane to the Seychelles had opened. People rushed to the exit of the gate and formed a queue. Some, however, remained undecided, as the terminal board still showed the boarding gate in Mogadishu. However, the employees once again confirmed that the gate is open to the Seychelles. But the scoreboard never switched. I go through security and shudder at the thought that I am flying not to the Seychelles, but to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia:
I go out to the bus, look back at the terminal:
On the way to the plane, I photograph the sides, of which a great many passed. For the first time I met such a dominant monopoly of one single airline at the airport - every single aircraft was represented by Ethiopian Airlines:
The bus drove up to our plane - Boeing-737 MAX. For the first time I had to fly on the MAX and for some reason at that moment I completely out of place remembered a plane crash with this plane of the same airline near Addis Ababa two or three years ago:
I got in line for ladder, took a picture and at that moment something rumbled in the opposite direction from the terminal. The passengers, all as if on cue, turned their heads, peering at what it could be.
But apparently, the roar sounded somewhere far away, outside the airport, because there were no consequences from it in field of view was not observed. Boarding continued.
Going on board:
At the entrance to the plane, the flight attendants give each passenger two wet wipes packed in a branded bag:
Business class looks pretty simple:
I'm trying to squeeze through to my seat, located in the back of the cabin. Even when buying a ticket, I chose a seat by the window on the starboard side. For some reason, its designation was L, despite the fact that there were only six seats in the row. On the left row there were the usual A, B and C, but the right one was designated as J, K, L - this can be seen in the photo below:
Going to my row and place, I found that a boy was already sitting on it, and next to him was an adult, probably his father. I told them that my place was taken by them. At first they were surprised, but then they realized that they got confused in the letter designations of the places and the boy moved to the middle seat, and his father to the edge.
View from my chair:
Looked out porthole - on the contrary, an old (19-year-old) Boeing 737-700 was preparing to take off. Perhaps the consequences of the habit from the more comfortable Boeing-777-200, which flew 3 hours earlier for a longer time, had an effect. It was really comfortable there - I had never experienced such freedom for the legs in the economy class before.
The back of the seat in front of me was disappointing - I expected that MAX would have a multimedia screen, a USB connector, but neither was. I remembered that on the Kenyan Boeing 737 (not MAX) all this was present, but here I couldn’t even believe that the modern MAX does not have a USB connector. At first I thought that I just couldn’t find it, but when I exhausted my search attempts, I asked a flight attendant passing by - is there one? It turns out not! I regretted not fully recharging my phone at the Addis Ababa airport.
There were no screens in the back of the seats, but they were recessed into the ceiling and suddenly leaned back when they began to demonstrate the flight safety instructions.
After the end of the demonstration, they returned to their place and did not appear again. Interestingly, on the return flight to Addis Ababa, the screens were folded back the entire flight and showed a route map and other flight characteristics. there was a just-landed Embraer Kenya Airways. In addition to him, after taxiing and almost at the exit to the starting point, he noticed an A-330 Saudia near the hangar. And that's it. The rest of the sides are only Ethiopian.
They began to pull us back while simultaneously turning 90 degrees to the left onto the axis of movement. Simultaneously with us, they began to drag the same old Boeing-737 standing in front of us in the same trajectory. Because of this, it seemed that we were pulled back about two hundred meters, to the very end, giving space to the second plane, which ended up in front of us.
Having pulled back, our MAX started the engines , and waited for the movement to begin. As I said above, we were standing on the very edge of the parking lot, at some backyards. Right in front of me, through the porthole, I could see two sheds, between which there was a metal fence. On it, someone hung, apparently after washing, their work clothes to dry. On the same fence, pieces of garbage swayed in the wind. In the distance, residential high-rise buildings of Addis Ababa were visible, behind them - hills, on one of which a temple was visible. There was plenty of time to view all these details, as we waited about 5 minutes for the Boeing in front to start moving. boards against the background of the terminal:
Going to the starting point:
Take off. From my side, during the takeoff run, the opposite side of the terminal and the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital were visible.
Almost immediately after takeoff, they began to turn to the right, gradually increasing the turn angle to 180 degrees:
The longer the plane kept turning, the more part of the Ethiopian capital opened itself for review, but on the other hand, with climbing to disassemble the details of the city became more and more difficult. Addis Ababa turned out to be huge, far larger than Nairobi, which is also quite a large city to which I am accustomed. In the center of Addis Ababa, arrays of skyscrapers were visible, further and along the outskirts - scattered residential areas. At some point, when the plane was already high enough, we flew parallel to the runway from which we had just taken off and the terminal building:
When the plane almost gained altitude, through the window I saw three lakes: Langano, Abidjata and Shala. The brown surface of Lake Langano contrasted sharply with the color of the surface of the other two lakes:
Lake Langano in Ethiopia is considered quite popular, with several resorts on the coast. The fact is that despite the brown surface, giving the impression that it is dirty, in fact it is very clean and even healthy, and the color of the lake is due to the minerals in it. In addition, the fluke worm that lives in other lakes in Ethiopia is not found in Langan, which makes it possible to swim in it without the risk of catching a vile infection. The neighboring lakes - Abidjata and Shala - are alkaline.
The plane gained altitude and it was possible to break away from the window to look around and study what is inside the plane. To begin with, I will acquaint dear readers with the contents of the pocket in front of the standing chair. A duty free magazine, a safety manual and a paper bag for the known and unpleasant consequences of a vestibular disorder were extracted from it:
To complete the review, it was necessary to visit the toilet. And this had to be done before the meal began, or at least immediately after the breakfast carts passed in front of my chair. Since I was sitting at the end of the cabin, I knew perfectly well that after the stewardess removed the tray with the leftover food from me, a large queue of those whose trays were removed earlier would line up for the toilet. But the boy in the next seat was asleep and didn't want to disturb him.
But still, the debt before the upcoming review overcame, and I made my way through the boy without disturbing his sleep. At the same time, the flight attendants had already rolled their food carts to the front of the cabin. While I was making my way through the boy (his father got up, allowing me to go into the aisle), some trickster from the back row got ahead of me and took the toilet. The other toilet was closed, as it was used only for flight attendants.
Waiting for the toilet to be free, I looked around the kitchen of the plane in the absence of its mistresses:
The toilet was free and I quickly dived there. I didn’t feel any physiological needs, and even more so I didn’t initiate them, so I limited myself to a general examination, and a couple of photos. The task was simply to capture the space so that the reader would not have any complaints about the completeness of the review.
Well, actually, my resume on the lavatory: it turned out to be unremarkable and clean, but only, probably, because a little time had passed since the moment of take-off and was not yet so in demand.
Leaving the toilet, I took my place, carefully stepping over the sleeping boy, and with anticipation watched the gradual approach of the back of the stewardess with a cart loaded with breakfasts towards my row. Or lunches. I really hoped that in this segment they would do without rice, since over the past seven-hour flight, during which the Ethiopians bothered to feed tightly twice, this same rice dominated the list of dishes. Moreover, it would be nice in a digestible format, for example, with butter, otherwise it’s just boiled, dry, almost crunchy on the teeth. him a table. For some reason, this alarmed me, there was a premonition that the meal would not go smoothly.
It was my turn. A standard sentence-question sounded: chicken, meat? From chicken beef, beef was chosen. The stewardess served a tray with the following content:
The main course was hidden behind a thick red foil lid, with the airline logo embossed. As a salad, I looked at .. rice. For the first time I saw rice (it turned out to be flavored with sour olive oil) as a salad. On today's first flight, chopped beetroot appeared as a salad, which was also not entirely encouraging, but now here's rice. This rice salad was a little reassuring as it definitely hinted that the main dish would be something other than rice as a side dish. I was ready for anything, just not to crunch again with dry rice, like a horse with oats. The following picture of the main course opened up for me:
Seeing this, several disparate and unrelated thoughts and images flashed through my head at the same time - why didn’t I choose the chicken, the chef’s grinning conditional face airlines Ethiopian Airlines, a trough of oats and a couple of other images that are better not to mention.
As it turned out, the choice of chicken was not worth regretting - the guy behind the next chair ordered it, and when he opened the lid, rice also appeared as a side dish. Moreover, he opened the lid without really thinking about the possible consequences (it was worth considering the shaking, the narrowness of the space that hindered movement, the hot lid), and these very consequences did not fail to appear - the lid slipped out of his hands and flew into the gap between our tables, and of course landed on my light-colored trousers with its inside, richly smeared with sauce. The boy froze for a moment, looked at me frightened, but when he saw an expression on my face like: “well, who doesn’t happen to him,” he relaxed. But I learned my lesson and the rest of the meal desperately pressed my knees to each other and, as far as possible, took them away from the careless boy, especially at the moment when he was poured hot tea, a glass with which he, of course, placed on the very edge on my side . But thank God, incidents like the one described above did not happen again.
As for nutrition: I will not repeat the rice; the meat turned out to be good. A piece of melted cheese softened the taste of rice, Lurpak butter combined with a bun served as the basis for an improvised sandwich, reserved for a hot drink to crown the meal. SoufflAnd one more thing: after the main course was over, under the foil plate, there was another element of on-board food that had not been noticed before - a couple of small crackers that turned out to be very pleasant to the taste:
The choice of drinks is always good with African airlines (on those that had to fly). Ethiopian airlines also hold the mark in this regard. Water, juices, beer, wine - all this was offered on this flight, as well as on three others. With one exception - by the time the cart reached me, the wine that I planned to treat myself to was already over, so I took only sparkling water (I took beer made in Ethiopia on the return flight - not bad, I recommend it). And finally, on the third, I asked for coffee for myself (how could it be without him, Ethiopia, after all!). They poured it into a branded paper cup and additionally gave milk powder and sugar:
During the meal and later, the picture overboard on the train was monotonous. One moment nevertheless captured - when we flew over Mogadishu (but it was on the other side of the plane) - the coast of the Indian Ocean of Somalia:
The meeting point of the continent and the ocean meant that we flew about half the way .
After the meal was over, passengers seated in the front of the cabin, whose trays of leftover food had already been removed, lined up for the toilet, thus preventing the flight attendants from completing the collection of dishes from those sitting behind. So I had to sit for about an hour with a tray on the table. In addition, a group of passengers flew, one of whom had an anniversary (this was announced by the aircraft commander via communications), and they organized a photo shoot in the aisle. It’s good that I managed to film the toilet before lunch, otherwise there would be no chance to get there after. The line moved extremely slowly, many passengers poured into the aisle. The most persistent and suffering continued to stand until the beginning of the descent, and in the end, the flight attendants had to drive everyone to their places. However, some grimly continued to stand, hoping to be in time at the last moment, but the flight attendants were adamant and they had to block the door to the toilet.
The descent to land on Mahe Island is a very interesting part of the flight. The island consists of many mountains overgrown with tropical vegetation interspersed with houses on the slopes and watching the plane maneuver between the slopes is very, very exciting.
Turn at lane end:
Stop at parking lot:
Exit from the aircraft was carried out very quickly: for this, the exits from the front and rear parts of the aircraft were used, where two ladders were fitted. Literally five minutes after the plane stopped, I could already feel the stuffy and hot atmosphere of the Seychelles:
The terminal building was right next to terminal is useless here. The building seemed toy, designed in a typical island, tropical style:
I took a farewell picture of the board that took me to the paradise island from the side of the terminal:
Walking to the terminal:
Further, before the border control, it is necessary to pass a filter, which is a special device that reads the face and fixes whether the fee for the health declaration has been paid in advance.
Let me explain: before visiting the Seychelles, you must fill out an online form and pay for it with a card of 10 euros. But since the vast majority of Russians currently do not have the opportunity to do this, and they make up a significant proportion of tourists in the Seychelles, there is an option for them - to pay in cash on the spot. But at the same time, enterprising Seychelles take not 10 euros in cash, but twice as much, and even in banknotes no older than 2002. If there is no euro, they take it in dollars, but reserve the right to name the amount that they please. So, with me, instead of 20 euros, they took 40 dollars from one Russian. Try to bet .. It works like this: when filling out the questionnaire, you upload your photo. This photo is transferred to the device's memory and compared with the face at the entrance. If paid in advance online, the green light turns on and the controlling officer directs you directly to passport control, if the red light lights up, you are sent to the cashier. The employee looks only at the color and does not compare the face. I suspect that if you twist your facial expressions in front of the device, it will give out a green color. Otherwise, how can one explain that some Russian citizens with surprise and surprise passed through the "green" ... in the form of an endemic plant - the fruit of a local coconut, resembling an intimate part of the body:
Immediately behind passport control, a narrow passage with a duty-free shop (did not visit it):
I went straight to the exit through the baggage claim area as I didn't have one with me:
Exit to the waiting area:
The arrivals area was empty. It housed the desks of tourist offices, connections to local mobile communications and a couple of exchange offices. It is better to change at the airport. When I was there, for one euro they gave 14.10 local rupees, in a bank in Victoria - 13.60. The arrival area was practically in the open air, since there were no walls and doors from the side of the street at all: only the arrivals area, walked along it. On the right hand (if you leave the baggage claim area), the arrival terminal passes into the departure terminal, which are practically not delimited by anything. Check-in desks look like this:
Area between international and domestic destinations:
Entrance from the street to the departure area:
At the very end of the hall was a small domestic airlines hall (arrivals and departures in the same place), built relatively recently, as indicated by a commemorative plaque:
I found myself in the airport toilet a free shower is a very useful feature, because usually, due to the local climate, you arrive at the airport lathered, laden with suitcases and it doesn’t hurt to cool off. I used it when I flew. And I know that it is not only in the men's, but also in the women's toilet.
After studying the interior of the airport, I went outside, you can call it that, the station square:
Behind it there was a large parking lot for personal vehicles, picturesquely framed by a mountain:
That, in fact, is all I wanted to talk about during this flight.
I hope it was interesting and informative! Thank you all for reading and see you in new directions!
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