Flight Review: Ethiopian Airlines B787 Dreamliner, ET639 KUL-SIN

Probably the only option for the Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Singapore (SIN) route on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is Ethiopian Airlines, which operates flight ET 639 on late evenings of selected days. Departing 23:05 hours from KLIA and arriving at 00:25 hours in Changi, the flight continues on to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) at 02:00 hours after a short stop, which explains why the flight timing for the first leg does not seem particularly convenient.

Still, it makes a worthwhile option for three reasons. First, the late flight timing means that you can maximise your time in Kuala Lumpur, probably with dinner in the city before having to head to the airport. Second, Ethiopian Airlines is part of the Star Alliance network, so you may earn or redeem miles on frequent flyer programs such as Krisflyer. Third, you can fly a Dreamliner without a full load of passengers, enabling good seat choices and a comfortable journey.

Ethiopian Airlines B787-8 Dreamliner in Economy Class

The aircraft on this route is one of Ethiopian Airlines' 19 Boeing 787-8 in service, with 24 seats in business and 246 in economy. The seat had fairly standard seat pitch, and flying full service on an international route, there was personal in-flight entertainment and a USB port available. And of course, younger passengers can perhaps spend their journey fiddling with the electrochromic windows of the Dreamliner.

Personal in-flight entertainment and USB port 

It was difficult not to notice that the flight was rather empty, which made for a very pleasant journey, and a non-existent lavatory queue. Needless to say, I would imagine this not to be the case for the second leg of the flight to Addis Ababa.

Lights dimmed for takeoff on an almost empty Dreamliner

I was slightly surprised to learn that complimentary alcoholic drinks were available on this "international" flight even in economy class, and that passengers were not limited to the standard orange or apple juice option on other full service airlines.

Refreshments served, including wine

All in all, flying on Ethiopian on the KUL-SIN route was a refreshing experience, and an option that could work out well for the three reasons mentioned earlier.


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