Etihad Business Class: AUH-MLE A330-300
I was ready to get to Male after spending 7 hours in the Business Class lounge at AUH during my connection from LHR. It’s a short 4 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Male. We were flying on Etihad’s older A330 in Business Class, but luckily it had lie flat beds which is an improvement over the last Business Class flight I had with them which was just a recliner seat. We had to board from a remote stand so we hopped on the bus and were driven to the plane. Upon boarding, we were served champagne and a hot towel to freshen up. The seats were older, but still very functional. I was seated in a bulkhead window seat, 7A. We departed Abu Dhabi on time and we were on our way to Male which is the capital of The Maldives.
Lunch was served shortly after takeoff and I opted for the Arabic mezze, Seared lamb backstrap and Raspberry mousse. All 3 courses were very good. The lamb was cooked perfectly. After lunch, I decided to sleep for the remaining 2 hours of the flight as I wanted to rest up prior to landing. Sleeping on a couch in the lounge didn’t fare well for good sleep.
The plane did offer WiFi, but it was $1 per MB which is very expensive. I didn’t try it so I don’t have a speedtest report. The provider is OnAir and this is an older plane so you can expect slow speeds (<0.25Mbps).
We landed into MLE on time and deplaned using stairs as Male doesn’t have jet bridge service. After clearing customs, we headed to Vista Beach Retreat for 2 nights prior to our stay at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.
Conclusion: I was happy to make it to Male somewhat rested after a long haul from London. The service and lie flat beds Etihad offers makes flying an enjoyable part of the journey to get to The Maldives. I’d highly recommend considering flying Etihad!
Professional Photography: Hans