Flight Test: Niki

The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age Traveller

3 March 2016

 

By Tatyana Leonov

THE ROUTE: Abu Dhabi to Vienna (pictured)

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Flyers can earn topbonus miles when flying with Niki or Etihad Airways. These points can be redeemed on Niki flights and many Etihad Airways flights.

CLASS: Economy, seat 8A in a 3-3 layout. The eight business-class seats are set out in a 2-2 configuration.

DURATION: Just over six hours. We leave and arrive on time.

FREQUENCY: Daily.

THE SEAT: A window seat towards the front of the cabin, the pitch is 30 inches (76 centimetres) and width 18 inches (46 cm).

BAGGAGE: Economy passengers can check in one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kilograms and carry on a cabin bag up to eight kilograms.

ENTERTAINMENT: No in-seat systems. Business-class passengers are given iPads with an yoghurt with mango compote completes the meal and I sleep afterwards. About an hour before landing chocolate biscuits are offered. Although I don’t recall eating them, the wrapper by my headphones tells me I enjoyed them, too.

ONE MORE THING: Niki launched the direct route between Abu Dhabi and Vienna in November 2014, offering those travelling between the UAE and Austria a non-stop option. For Australians travelling to and from Austria the Etihad Airways/Niki route is a dream. With just one stop in Abu Dhabi, it’s one of the quickest and most convenient ways of travelling to Austria.

THE VERDICT: Having flown with quite a few low- cost carriers, Niki is by far one of the best. The staff ensure that passengers are happy, the seats are reasonably comfortable and, given the timing of the flight, (the plane left Abu Dhabi at 2.45am), I didn’t miss the entertainment system.

Reviewed by Tatyana Leonov, who flew courtesy of Scenic Tours.