I went on a 30-day trip in December 2022 and January 2023 to leave the Icelandic winter behind me for some time. The trip had four main parts: visiting Sudan and Kenya; visiting friends, colleagues and relatives in Hungary and the Czech Republic; a family holiday in Tenerife and a business trip to Senegal, The Gambia and Sierra Leone.
I had a total of 18 flights, booked mostly as one-ways and one double open-jaw. Here’s my final list of flights after many cancellations, changes of departure time and aircraft type:
Keflavík to Paris CDG, Icelandair, economy class, B757 (no flight report)
Paris to Istanbul, Turkish, business class, A321
Istanbul to Khartoum, Turkish, business class, B737
Khartoum to Addis, Ethiopian, economy class upgraded to business class, B737
Addis to Nairobi NBO, Ethiopian, economy class upgraded to business class, B777
Nairobi WIL to Mombasa to Lamu, Skyward Express, economy class, Q300
Lamu to Malindi to Nairobi WIL, Safarilink, economy class, Q200
Nairobi NBO to Istanbul, Turkish, business class, A330
Istanbul to Budapest, Turkish, business class, B737
Vienna to Tenerife South, Wizzair, economy class, A321
Tenerife North to Gran Canaria, Binter Canarias, economy class, ATR42
Grand Canaria to Dakar, Binter Canarias, economy class, E195
Dakar to Banjul, Air Sénégal, economy class, A320
Banjul to Freetown, Air Sénégal, economy class
Freetown to Banjul, Air Sénégal, economy class
Banjul to Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc, business class
Casablanca to Paris ORY, Royal Air Maroc, business class
Paris CDG to Keflavík, Play, economy class
This flight was supposed to be on an A321 but was switched to an A330 – a welcome change.
I woke up at 02.00, took the hotel’s very comfortable car for the transfer to the airport at 02.30 and arrived before 03.00.
There was a security check to drive into the airport area, a document check to enter the building and then a luggage screening. Queues to enter the building are sometimes long but I only had to wait a few minutes this time.
The check-in area for the Turkish Airlines flights is quite nice.
Priority check-in is of course available.
The agent was friendly. Passport control was next to the check-in area and was very quick. Security check was right after; there were only a few people in front of me. A very pleasant airport experience altogether despite the very early hours.
Let’s head to the lounge!
A quick look at the departure board: there are flights to Cairo, Addis, Istanbul, Kigali, Mogadishu and Jeddah by various airlines between 04.20 and 06.35; the first Kenya Airways flights leave shortly after 07.00.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge is quite nice. I could not take photos of the seating area as it was almost completely full.
There's a good choice of food.
There’s also a good choice of drinks.
Documents were checked again to enter the gate area. Boarding started shortly after 04.30.
The aircraft was an A300-300, registration number TC-JOA, built in 2004.
The configuration in business class is 2+2+2 with five rows on the two sides and four rows in the middle with a total of 28 seats. There are more up-to-date business class products in the sky that offer more privacy and direct aisle access for all seats but this is a very comfortable way to fly.
The seats on the right side.
My seat 3K.
Legroom is more than enough.
An amenity kit was offered before the flight.
And so was a welcome drink – I choose of course Turkish Airline’s signature lemonade.
Push-back was at 05.14 for a scheduled departure time of 05.00. We took off at 05.30.
Seats K are the best to see the sunrise on this flight.
Breakfast was served about 35 minutes after take-off. But as I had woken up at 2am I decided to skip breakfast for now and to go to sleep. I asked if I could have breakfast later. I was told yes, I could, except the hot meal - that was fine for me.
I slept very well for over two hours. The seat can be transformed into a flat bed which I found quite comfortable.
I asked to have breakfast after I had woken up. Let’s have a look at the menu.
Turkish Airline’s business class breakfast.
Everything was of good quality as it is the norm on Turkish Airlines.
We were around the border between Sudan and Egypt at this time.
The cabin was left in the dark as most passengers were sleeping.
Some nice toiletries were available in the lavatories.
I went back to sleep again. I woke up when we were near Cairo.
Some beautiful views of Istanbul before landing.
Seconds to touchdown.
We landed in Istanbul at 11.41 and were at the gate at 11.48 for a scheduled arrival time of 11.30.
Terminal 1E at Nairobi Airport is nice and easy to use. The Turkish Airlines lounge is also nice, has a good selection of food and drinks but it was quite crowded. The business class hard product on the A330-300 flown on this route is not the most sophisticated but it is a very comfortable way to fly – I slept very well. The soft product was also very nice with good quality food and a very attentive cabin crew.