Beond Airways Enterprise Class: Wow, This Is Good!

Good day from the Maldives (properly, briefly… I’m simply in transit, and am not really getting into the nation). I simply flew all-business class provider Beond Airways on the slightly lengthy flight from Milan to the Maldives through Dubai. The airline at the moment has a single Airbus A319 that operates routes to & from the Maldives, with locations together with Dubai, Milan, Riyadh, and Zurich, with extra to return.

I’ve lined Beond Airways fairly a bit because it launched. It’s an intriguing airline startup, although I can’t make sense of the enterprise mannequin in its present type. The airline has additionally struggled with working reliably.

So I’ll be completely sincere. Once I booked my Beond Airways flight, I figured “oh, that is most likely going to be a multitude, and can make an entertaining story that readers will take pleasure in.” Effectively, I name issues as I see them, and I’ve to say that the precise onboard expertise on Beond exceeded my expectations, and was wonderful. It significantly exceeded my expectations.

Sure, there are some quirks and areas for enchancment, however for an airline solely a number of months previous and with a single aircraft, I wasn’t anticipating it to be this good. Whereas I’ll have a full journey report quickly, let me share some preliminary impressions.

Beond Airways’ A319 cabin is attractive… largely

Presently Beond Airways’ Airbus A319 is a 20-year-old Airbus A319 that used to fly for European low price provider EasyJet. Effectively, to say this aircraft obtained a facelift can be an understatement. How attractive is that this plane, each in and out?

Beond Airways’ enterprise class is in a 2-2 configuration, unfold throughout 11 rows, with totally flat beds.

Beond Airways enterprise class cabin Airbus A319
Beond Airways enterprise class cabin Airbus A319

Admittedly these aren’t essentially the most innovative seats, however remember that Beond Airways markets itself because the world’s first premium leisure airline. Everybody else on my flight (all eight individuals) had been {couples}, so the 2-2 configuration is nice for these functions.

The usual seats on this configuration have a cutout along side the seat to your ft. Whereas it’s not all that huge, at the least it’s not a footwell that isn’t very excessive. I’d positively advocate selecting a window seat over an aisle seat.

Beond Airways enterprise class seats Airbus A319

Then there are two rows of seats with ottomans (rows one and 5), which supply a full ottoman slightly than a cutout.

Beond Airways enterprise class seats Airbus A319

Sure, after all there are extra innovative enterprise class merchandise on the market, but additionally don’t underestimate how good it’s to fly on a jet with so few passengers. It eliminates a lot of the stress ordinarily related to flying, from lengthy strains at check-in, to a really busy gate space, to an extended boarding course of. On this flight boarding began, and a minute later it was introduced that boarding was full. You received’t get that on an Emirates A380.

Now, there have been some quirks to this A319. For instance, it’s clear that the bathrooms haven’t been up to date in any manner because the previous days, and so they didn’t even have any premium toiletries (the previous is an costly repair, the latter is an inexpensive repair).

Beond Airways enterprise class bathroom Airbus A319

Beond Airways’ crews are surprisingly good

I used to be curious what sort of crews Beond Airways had employed, so studying extra was my favourite half about experiencing the airline firsthand. Curiously the crews are all primarily based in Dubai, and through the refueling cease, there’s a crew change.

There have been a complete of 9 passengers on my flight, and on the primary sector there have been 5 flight attendants, and on the second sector there have been 4 flight attendants. So there have been as many passengers as flight attendants, and that doesn’t account for the pilots.

The flight attendants had been from everywhere in the world– Egypt, Italy, Spain, Myanmar, and past. And so they all had intensive expertise within the airline trade, with a number of having labored at different Gulf carriers for an prolonged time period.

Have been they essentially the most polished bunch on earth? Effectively, to be sincere, some had been, and a few weren’t. However they had been uniformly pleasant and supplied service with a smile. For instance, on my second sector I used to be served by an Egyptian flight attendant who was working his first flight, and I couldn’t consider what a fantastic job he did. I’d have by no means guessed it was his first day.

Beond Airways Airbus A319

Beond Airways’ meals, drinks, and facilities are spectacular

Beond Airways’ meal service is manner above common for enterprise class. There have been two meals on this in a single day journey, with a dinner served after takeoff on the Milan to Dubai flight, and breakfast served after takeoff on the Dubai to Male flight. In every case, a full three course meal was served.

This was really a restaurant high quality eating expertise with superb high quality meals and drinks, and likewise very good presentation.

Because the starter for my dinner, I chosen the burrata with marinated avocado and oven dried tomatoes.

Beond Airways enterprise class dinner appetizer

Then for the primary course, I chosen the gradual cooked cod with risotto cake, grilled greens, and veloute.

Beond Airways enterprise class dinner principal course

Lastly, for dessert I had the almond and mascarpone slice.

Beond Airways enterprise class dinner dessert

Breakfast was equally spectacular. For the starter, I chosen the watermelon salad with zaatar halloumi, which was most likely my favourite factor I had on this flight. It appeared good, however tasted even higher.

Beond Airways enterprise class breakfast appetizer

Then for the primary course, I ordered the North African mesfouf, which was additionally yummy.

Beond Airways enterprise class breakfast principal course

Lastly, for dessert (I imply, who doesn’t have dessert with breakfast?!) I had the lemon chiboust with blended berries.

Beond Airways enterprise class breakfast dessert

Severely, how good does this meals look? The one quirk is that there’s no espresso machine onboard, however solely brewed espresso. I discover that to be unusual, and hopefully that modifications finally…

Beond Airways enterprise class espresso

The facilities had been strong as properly, however extra on that within the full assessment…

Beond Airways enterprise class facilities

Beond Airways’ leisure is underwhelming

Beond Airways’ leisure state of affairs is a weak level of the expertise, in my view. Every passenger is handed an iPad at first of the flight, which they’ll use to entry a library of streaming leisure. What I discover unusual is that regardless that the airline has the Wi-Fi community, there’s not really Wi-Fi.

Beond Airways enterprise class iPad
Beond Airways enterprise class leisure choice

To me it is a main weak level of the expertise. Certain, leisure vacationers don’t want Wi-Fi as badly as enterprise vacationers, however it’s good to have the ability to message with family and friends. Moreover, even for leisure vacationers, it’s good to get caught up on work earlier than and after you go on vacation. I think about that that is one thing the airline will finally introduce.

I need to admit, I spent a lot of the flight simply sitting there and having fun with the surroundings. Or I suppose “uncooked dogging,” as the youngsters name it these days.

Beond Airways’ Dubai refueling cease is type of a buzzkill

Whereas Beond Airways operates nonstop flights from Male to Dubai and Riyadh, all the provider’s companies to Europe route by Dubai World Central Airport (DWC).

The Dubai World Central refueling cease isn’t preferrred

I can admire that Beond most likely needed to begin operations with a decrease price aircraft (since you’ll be able to choose up a used A319 for little or no) and simply outfit it very properly, however I feel in the long term, it might be a recreation changer if the airline may choose up longer vary jets (which I consider is within the provider’s plans).

The whole flight time between Milan and Male was simply over 10 hours (not together with the hour cease in Dubai). The problem is, this breaks up the flight right into a flight of just below six hours, and a flight of simply over 4 hours. This makes it actually onerous to get any substantial quantity of sleep. You possibly can perhaps get just below three hours on the primary flight, after which it’s onerous to get any actual sleep on the second flight, because it’s not that lengthy, and is through the day.

Then once more, I suppose many different individuals touring to the Maldives are connecting within the Center East anyway, so at the least you get to remain off the aircraft.

I feel my even larger concern is the operational challenges the airline faces, having only one aircraft. For instance, my flight was round 2.5 hours late, attributable to a mix of a late inbound, plus the flight taking a bit longer than ordinary. Clearly an airline with one jet doesn’t have the quantity of schedule flexibility {that a} bigger airline would have.

At the very least the view of Dubai had been wonderful!

I’m rooting for Beond Airways, however stay confused

I’ve had my doubts about Beond Airways because it launched, as a result of a whole lot of what we’ve been instructed simply didn’t make a lot sense to me. For instance, the airline has the acknowledged purpose of working 32 plane inside 5 years, flying to 60 locations. Assuming the plan is to function these planes out of the Maldives (which is the place the plane are registered), that appears unrealistic to me).

Nonetheless, having now flown the airline, I’ve a brand new respect for the truth that the airline is at the least critical about hiring skilled workers, having a fantastic passenger expertise, and so on. Is there work to be completed? After all. However I’d like to see the airline succeed.

Now, I feel that may require a critical pivot within the enterprise mannequin. I’ve a whole lot of ideas there, however I’ll save that for an additional publish. I’d like to see a premium airline like this scale, however I simply don’t suppose the Maldives is the marketplace for that.

Within the meantime, I hope the airline is properly funded, and may deal with the markets the place planes appear to be fairly properly booked (like Riyadh, apparently).

I’m curious how a lot Beond Airways can develop within the Maldives

Backside line

I’ve been intrigued by Beond Airways because the firm launched operations in late 2023. Typically you fly an airline and it’s precisely what you anticipate, generally it exceeds expectations, and generally it disappoints. Regardless of a number of oddities with the product, there’s one thing very nice about flying a jet of this measurement, with so few individuals. I’m curious how the provider’s enterprise mannequin evolves over time, as a result of I don’t see service between Europe and the Maldives working profitably on a year-round foundation.

What’s your tackle Beond Airways’ enterprise class?

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