Review: Etihad Airways A320-2, Malé – Abu Dhabi

Its always a let down to leave any island paradise. Thankfully, Etihad Airways made it a lot more pleasant with comfortable medium haul service from Malé to Abu Dhabi.

This post is one chapter in our trip to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives on United Airlines and Etihad Airways. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan and Etihad Preferred Guest. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Etihad Airways A320-2, Malé – Abu Dhabi

After a ninety minute stay at Champs, we were dropped off by the shuttle bus driver and headed over to the Ethiad counter. It seemed that everyone else had checked in already, because the place was deserted. 

There was a pre-security lounge for Ethiad business, the only one that offered a premium check in service. 

Premium Check in area in Malé

Passing through security and immigration, we entered the pre-departure holding lounge and a world of over priced tacky souvenirs. It would only make sense that if the visitors went straight to the resort, that they would also need to get their T-Shirts somewhere. I picked up a $5 magnet. There was also a large duty free area including alcohol available, which the Chinese were stocking up on.

Male Departures Area
Male Gate Area

After souvenir shopping, the flight was boarded promptly. The non gate position involved a walk from the gate straight out onto the tarmac to your awaiting aircraft. Mrs WorldTraveller73 had always been against non gate positions- and my attempts to convince her that they were cool and rare were generally useless. However tonight, she was quite interested at the opportunity to walk underneath most of the awaiting aircraft, as opposed to being in a bus. 

Ethiad Airways
Coral Economy Class
MLE-AUH (Nasir Ibrahim International Airport – Abu Dhabi International Airport) 
EY 278 – Economy Class (Q)
8:40 PM – 11:55 PM
Oct 19, 2012
Booked: Airbus 320-100
Flown: Airbus 320-200
Etihad Airways Airbus 320

Like I had mentioned eariler, somehow Etihad has managed to create a super relaxing boarding contemporary music piece to play when it’s passengers board. Like musak, it’s played softly enough to be present, and has an Arabic theme that it keeps Ethiad’s identity. It became a great way to look forward to our trip on our Ethiad flights.

Etihad Boarding Music

Given that most passengers with no where to go, the boarding was complete over 30 minutes prior to departure with the flight departed 30 minutes early. As we boarded, there was a neat misting feature that was underway for about 20 minutes while everyone took their seats, similar to those nightclubs I visited in my twenties.

Etihad Airways de-misting

We were underway quite promptly and away from the Maldives en route to Abu Dhabi.

The Meal: A Dinner Service

Meal service was straightforward. I had the lamb with creole sauce. It appeared that the local fish stew or the lam creole did not resonate with many of the travelers as the “penne pasta” was the first item to be sold out. I had the lamb creole – quite tasty. 

Abu Dhabi Airways – Male to Abu Dhabi
Lamb with Creole Sauce with Tumeric Rice

We arrived 30 minutes early for our transfer process in Abu Dhabi.


The Etihad Airways flight from Malé to Abu Dhabi was more than expected. The flight was boarded promptly and we were underway without any delays. The food was tasty and the entertainment on board was good. Etihad Airways was good to us and the flight was reasonable – even for a narrow body international flight.

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