Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flight Review- "Selamta"-Ethiopian Airlines

"Selamta" means "Welcome" in Amharic language, the language of Ethiopian people. It is also the name given to the inflight magazine of Ethiopian Airlines, another new comer to Malaysian flight scene, giving us more varieties and choices of flights. This review covers the 5th freedom's right sector of this airline from KUL-BKK-KUL


The departure time of 11.25pm might not be the best compared to other airline flying on this route. You will arrive in Bangkok well passed midnight, thus reducing your choice of transport to the city.

The plane designated was a Boeing 767-300ER registered ET-AME and surprisingly it was in plain white livery-without any insignia of related to any airline-let alone Ethiopian. Pax from KUL was very minimal-it couldnt even reached 100...maybe more will be joining later from BKK.


 I was warmly greeted at the entrance by the purser-wearing traditional Ethiopian dress. The plane interior was really dated and gloomy and in dire need of refurbishment. Each seat had been provided with pillow, blanket, headset and amenity kit.

 Took off was on time-something which is very commendable. Cabin crew started to deliver inflight service about 30 minutes after airborne and the choices for that night were fish or chicken-i opted for the former.

 Coffee and tea were offered later. In all it was a satisfying meal-can be said as elaborate as well for supper. Having a very chatty seat neighbour means i didnt have to bother about not having modern IFE in this plane. The 1 hour 45 minutes flight ended quickly when you were drowned into interesting conversations.

I bade farewell to my German seat neighbour who was continuing to ADD and followed passenger terminating in BKK out of the plane, with smiles and bye-byes by the cabin crews along the way.


Departure time for this flight was 2.35pm and making it a very suitable departure time with estimated arrival around 6 pm in KUL. Having arrived at the gate-my heart sank as i saw the glimpse of an all white airplane taxying into the gates area. However I was delighted as it finally stopped at the other gate-making the "albino" plane Hong Kong bound. Few minutes interval, came the plane that will take me home to KUL which was ET-AQC-in full Ethiopian livery.

 Once again was warmly greeted with "Selamta" by the purser and guided to my seat. The seats look better in dark blue covers however it was obvious that no cleaning services were done while this plane is in transit as you could see many things like pillows, blankets, safty card scatterred on the floor. The KUL bound passengers were not allowed to leave the plane. The load was moderate at roughly 70% full in economy.

 no cleaning service done

 To describe the cabin crews-they were not overly friendly but very professional. They ensure each and everyone fastened their seatbelts and put their seats and arm rest in proper positions, and they went through the aisle few times in doing this.You could also hear many words of "please(s)"/"excuse(s)"/"sir(s)/"madam(s) being uttered by the cabin crews to the passengers-reflecting their standard of professionalism. Even when serving the meal, they will properly place the tray on your table-not just simply pass it over your neighbour's head.

One minor incident with this flight was the pilot encountered an electrical problem just after push back and the plane had to be taken to a remote stand for further checking. However this only lasted for around 10 minutes and we made up time on air to even arrived in KUL 10 minutes earlier than ETA.

 The Boeing 767-300ER was a magnificent climber as it blasted from BKK, my first time on this type and i was impressed with sense of power of this aircraft. I specially requested a seafood meal for this flight and was surprised that it was prepared separately notwithstanding the normal choice consisted of fish. I was thankful that i did request for special meal as it was one of the best Thai prawn curry ive ever had.

worn out cushion

Conclusion, this airline is a level player in terms of service. However the aircrafts used in this sector were in need of refurbishment and maybe in the process of being phased out as the airline starts to receive more of the Dreamliners. This airline as well was the cheapest option during my travel period-even cheaper than the so called "world's best low cost airline" and it provides you all inclusive frills for that. I do hope that Ethiopian will fly this route more often in the future and will stay as one of the airline servicing this route and KLIA, benefitting the travelers and to provide healthy competition to other airlines to up their game accordingly.

Likes: reasonable fare, on time performance, catering and amenities, in flight services
X-like: aging aircraft, late departure to BKK