ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES OPENS NEW PREMIUM LOUNGE
With the first few B787 Dreamliners now flying from Addis into the world Ethiopian Airlines has now opened the first section of a brand new business class lounge in Addis Ababa, to match the new aircraft in the skies with the comforts of a newly designed, state of the art lounge on the ground.
Information received to this effect speaks of the new Cloud Nine Lounge being the best Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport has ever seen. A sleeping area with cots, aimed at providing rest for premium passengers with longer connecting times, is a new feature as are massage chairs, free WiFi and fixed working stations for those who need to catch up with work. The second phase, when open, will feature a fully fledged Spa with showers, steam, sauna and massage and a typical Ethiopian coffee corner which will be open 24/7 offering freshly brewed spiced coffee from the Ethiopian highlands.
Industry observers agree that such added comforts and services for premium passengers and regular frequent flyers will be one of the cornerstones to retain them, besides flying state of the art aircraft and offering service levels pre-, in- and post-flight similar to those of the new aviation giants in the Gulf. ‘Regular flyers look at punctuality, the safety record of their chosen airline, connectivity, fast track check in and then of course the state of the hub lounge and the lounges in destination airports. If the first set of expectations is met but he lounge is of poor quality, they seek that element of service somewhere else’ said a regular aviation source in Nairobi, where the various premium lounges are often overcrowded, underscoring the need to give premium passengers an oasis of peace and tranquility on the ground similar to the comforts of the first or business class cabin in the sky. Watch this space.