Air Seychelles & Etihad A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from the Seychelles! On Saturday night we flew from Paris to Mahe on a flight that was supposed to be operated by Air Seychelles. However, Air Seychelles is discontinuing their longhaul flights, and on top of that decided to return their A330s early, so Etihad picked up the slack and is operating the route for the last few weeks.

I’m familiar with the Etihad hard product, though was curious to see whether the soft product would be typical of Etihad or Air Seychelles.

Well, I’m happy to report that it was an extremely pleasant 9hr30min flight.

The Etihad A330 operating the route had a staggered configuration in business class. When the aircraft swap occured we were automatically placed in “honeymoon seats,” which in general I’m not a fan of. However, in the end I sort of enjoyed them. While Etihad’s seats look fine, I’d note that they’re desperately in need of an update, as the padding is awful, and at times I felt like I was sitting on a metal bar.

The entire crew was from Etihad, with the exception of one Air Seychelles flight attendant, though I only saw her at the boarding door as she was otherwise working economy. The way in which the crews operate this flight is interesting. If I understood things correctly, they basically operate flights from Abu Dhabi to Paris to Mahe to Paris to Mahe to Paris to Abu Dhabi, meaning it’s a long trip for them, and then they get a few days off.

In terms of the soft product, there was a good pillow and blanket. The pillow was large and plush, while the blanket was light but snuggly.

The Air Seychelles amenity kit was similar to the Etihad kit, though was branded differently.

The food was reasonably good, though not memorable. What I did appreciate is some of the “local touches” in the service. For example, they specifically highlighted how they had special cocktails, including white rum from the Seychelles. So as weird as it might be to order prior to dinner, I had a “bloody maria” as my pre-dinner drink, which was served with banana chips.

For the starter there was the choice between a mozzarella and tomato salad, and smoked salmon tartare. I had the salmon tartare, which was quite good.

For the main course there was the choice between beef fillet, grilled chicken breast, and tagliatelle. For the airline of an island nation, I’m a bit surprised they didn’t have any fish on the menu. I ordered the beef, which was just alright.

Then for dessert was the choice between a cheese plate, and an opera cake, both of which were tasty.

They also had all kinds of freshly made coffee drinks, including cappuccinos.

For breakfast I mixed things up and had pear and chocolate crepes, which were so delicious and rich.

While the meals weren’t huge, I thought the service pace was excellent, as service was fully customized. Dinner courses were brought and cleared as each person individually finished, and breakfast was served as each person woke up.

On that note, the crew was excellent. I’ve had mixed experiences with service on Etihad, though the three flight attendants working business class worked so hard, and were so friendly. They finished the entire meal service within 75 minutes of takeoff, and within a few minutes of waking up in the morning, one of them was at my seat to ask how my rest was, and if she could get me anything to eat.

I’m sad I didn’t have the chance to fly the real Air Seychelles, though I’m happy I at least got to experience part of their soft product. Overall you can color me impressed.

Comments

  1. I flew Air Seychelles in economy from Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong and return. Thought the crew was really good and flights were fine. Too bad they eliminated their long haul operation. It was a nice option.

  2. It looks like you had the Air Seychelles china and silverware. You probably had the same scheduled meals. The Air Seychelles lounge is quite nice. Try it on the way home.

  3. Hi Lucky!

    I created an account for logging all your reviewed flights on my.flightradar24.com (which was previously flightdiary.com):

    https://my.flightradar24.com/onemileatatime

    Amazing to get an overview of the massive amount of unique flights you’ve taken over the years! Also nice with (at least)188 trips in first, not counting the residence 😉

    Feel free to e-mail me to get the account-info, so you can add even more of your flights!

    Kind Regards

    axo

  4. So the experience is a kind of mixed of everything..EY crew, seating, while the cutleries, amenity kit(by the way looks really nice in exotic green and is still given out comparing to EY, alright they are phasing out so it is better to hand them out than to throw it away) are HM etc..glad you had a great crew onboard after that TAAG disaster. ‘Bloody Maria’ is also the name of that infamous purser of TAAG, I bet Lucky that one has a very strong aftertaste !!
    I find the presentation of your starter so sloppy..what is the dark sauce beneath those huge salad portion? Soy sauce? MU, TAAG have you heard it..you can have a coffee machine onboard inorder to make decent coffees in all variaties, cheapos!
    It is almost unbelievable to comprehend that EY can still perform a good service nowadays..you deserved a great flight! Now enjoy the Seychellles.

  5. I can’t help but wonder if the design on the plates is not-so-subtle marketing for the neck pillows sold in duty free.

  6. Any Charles de Cazanove champagne? Did you try the SeyBrew? The amenity kit used to be an Etihad hand me down. Crew would kneel to take orders and look sharp in their light blue suits. The seat was close to a domestic F that lie flat. Mahi in coconut curry and banana chips was yummy.

  7. @Lucky – these look like the same seats as the 77W. In your opinion are the seats on the 77W same as these seats as far as padding is concerned?

  8. How would Etihad be eligible to fly between Paris and Mahe unless the flight continued to Doha in at least one direction, making it a fifth-freedom flight? Unless it was a short-term wet-lease to Air Seychelles.

  9. @andy 11235

    The symbol you are refering to is one of the symbol of the Seychelles it is the nut of a coco de mer..

  10. It’s a fairly typical crew rotation for such a route. When BA operated MAN-JFK we worked a similar itinerary from LHR: LHR-JFK-MAN-JFK-LHR. It was known as a ‘W pattern’. Our crew based in BAH or CAI still operate along similar lines although their trips are even longer, typically ten or eleven days away from home. They operate from their base along the lines of say: BAH-LHR-RUH-LHR-BAH or CAI-LHR-JED-LHR-MCT-LHR-CAI.

    When I flew Jetstar Australia from SYD – DPS almost the entire crew were BKK based and operated a really long trip BKK-SYD-DPS-SYD-KIX-SYD-BKK.

  11. @quackdaniels @lucky I believe Air Seychelles lost its operating licence or some sort of authority to fly from France so we’re forced to withdraw promptly and it’s wetlease sd by etihad, But under the Air Seychelles flight

  12. Winston Benoiton
    28 jan 2018
    I was lucky enough to jump on ethiad 787 dreamliner from perth australia to abudabie to get home to seychelles that was the best flight ever i will do it again next february for sure

  13. Ben, mate, we really need to have a discussion about you thinking there’s such a thing as a “weird” time to order a cocktail.
    It is ALWAYS a good time to order a cocktail. Jeez boy!

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