News: Etihad Will Fly Dreamliners To Geneva, Air France Heads To Nairobi & More

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A round-up of some of the latest news items that didn’t really warrant a whole article each but that could be of interest nonetheless. Includes details of a n improvement in the Etihad offering to Switzerland, news of the latest hotel opening in Sydney and details of Air France’s new route to Kenya.

Etihad Makes Switzerland An All Dreamliner Destination

Etihad has been flying it’s 787-9 Dreamliner between Abu Dhabi and Zurich for quite some time but it still flys an Airbus A330-300 to Geneva. From 25 March 2018 this will change and Etihad will finally make Switzerland and all-Dreamliner destination.

Why is this important?

Well, the biggest difference between the A330 and the Dreamliner is the Business Class cabin. On the negative side the Dreamliner will offer 4 fewer seats in Business Class than the A330 but, on the positive side, the seats in the Dreamliner are considerably better.

The Etihad A330 offers similar Business Class seats to those found in the airlines 777 aircraft while the Dreamliner comes equipped with the “Business Studio” as found on the Etihad A380.

Etihad Business Class A380Etihad Business Studio

Having tried out both types of Business Class seat I’m in no doubt that the Business Class studio is the one to fly in so this will be a nice upgrade for the Geneva route.

As well as changing the aircraft-type on this route the schedule is getting changed too. Currently the flight from Abu Dhabi lands in Geneva shortly after 1pm but, from 28 March 2018, the flight will land just before 8am….just in time for morning meetings.

Here’s the new schedule:

EY51 AUH 02:50 – 07:50 GVA
EY52 GVA 09:55 – 18:20 AUH

The one negative about this aircraft swap is the Economy Class cabin.

The Economy Class seats in the Dreamliner are marginally narrower than those on the A330 and narrower is never better. Also, I suspect that couples traveling in Economy Class will also probably prefer the A330 as the aircraft offers 2 seats together on either side 4 center seats so they can sit together without a stranger seated next to them – the Dreamliner’s Economy Class cabin is set out in a 3-3-3 layout so there’s no escape if the aircraft is full.

Air France Adds Nairobi To Its Long-Haul Network

a city with many tall buildingsNairobi – Image Air France

From 25 March 2018 Air France will start offering a Dreamliner service between paris Charles de Gaulle and Nairobi three times per week.

The currently posted schedule looks like this:

EY75 CDG 22:50 – 06:00+1 day NBO (Wed, Sat & Sun)
EY76 NBO 08:20 – 15:50 CDG (Mon, Thu & Sun)

This service is in addition to the daily KLM service which currently runs between Amsterdam and Nairobi.

The Air France Dreamliner operating this route will offer the following cabin configuration:

  • 30 Business Class seats
  • 21 Premium Economy seats
  • 225 Economy Class seats

There’s good news is to be found in the Business Class cabin where the Air France 787-9 Dreamliner offers the airlines excellent new Business Class seats set out in a reverse herringbone layout (my favorite)….

a table in a planeAir France New Business Class

…and there’s more good news to be found in the Premium Economy cabin where the aircraft offers seats with 40″ of pitch (leg room) and 19″ of width.

Those dimensions make the Premium Economy seats more spacious than the comparable seats from British Airways, American Airlines and ANA so that’s not bad going.

The good news ends at the Economy Class cabin where seats with only 31″ of pitch and 17″ of width are just about as cramped as you’ll find on any major long-haul carrier.

The Air France Dreamliner also comes fully equipped with wi-fi which can be purchased at a cost of between €5 and €30 for between 20MB and 200MB.

Sofitel Opens A New Property In Sydney

The new Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour has opened its doors and is apparently the first new-build, international, luxury hotel to be opened in Sydney this millennium.

I walked past the property on my recent visit to Sydney and, if you’re visiting Darling Harbour, it’s hard to miss!

a tall building next to a body of waterSofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Per Sofitel:

The hotel will offer 590 stylish guestrooms including 35 coveted suites, boasting some of the best views in Sydney.  All the hotel’s guest rooms feature the Sofitel MyBed™ and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Darling Harbour and the city. The suites feature an in-bathroom television, double shower heads and luxurious soaking tubs for the ultimate pampering experience.

a bathroom with a view of a city and a riverImage Sofitel

The Bellerive suite is the hotel’s pinnacle of accommodation and features a separate living room, dining room and butler’s pantry.

Exclusive to guests staying in the Club Sofitel rooms and suites on levels 28 – 34, the Club Millesime Lounge, located at the very top of the hotel on level 35 will offer breathtaking views over Darling Harbour and the city. Offering a refined environment, Club Millesime Lounge will present an array of personalised services. These include private check-in, use of the meeting room for more intimate gatherings and access to other special privileges.

The Sofitel offers 3 bars – a champagne bar, a lobby bar and pool bar (on the 4th floor)…

a pool with a city in the backgroundImage Sofitel

…as well as a French inspired rotisserie and grill, Atelier by Sofitel, on the third floor of the property.

Bookings are now open and can be made via the Sofitel Homepage.