Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-2, Mahé – Istanbul


Turkish Airlines operates a staggering five versions of the Airbus A330 series aircraft. Most of their flights are on their newer business class configuration that we’ve reviewed several times in the past. However, there are a few select routes that offer this older odd ball 1 – 1 – 1 business class configuration. We would get an opportunity to try out their older business class configuration along with their lie flat seat.

This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. 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: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-2 Mahé Seychelles International Airport – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport

Turkish Airlines flies an astonishing five different versions of the Airbus 330 series aircraft. Turkish Airlines also flies some of its medium to long haul routes using its Airbus 330 series aircraft. We’ve reviewed Turkish Airlines Business Class in the Airbus 330 in several versions, including Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Montreal, Turkish Airlines Business Class New Delhi – Istanbul, and Turkish Airlines Business Class Dubai – Istanbul to name a few. This segment using the Airbus 330-200 series aircraft would be our first experience in their regular herringbone configuration. We would be keen to see how see how the older product stood up.

Boarding Turkish Airlines:

We enjoyed the comfortable Salon Vallée de Mai Premium Lounge in Mahé Seychelles. The boarding time was listed on our boarding cards at 8:25 PM. An announcement was made in the lounge at about 8:10 PM indicating that the flight was ready for boarding. We headed downstairs and over to Gate 3 for boarding. Our cards were scanned and we stepped outside onto the tarmac.

Boarding Through Gate 3

There are no jet bridges in the Seychelles. Continuing on with the theme of our trip, it had started raining and everything was wet. Fortunately, the rain must be a regular feature of the Seychelles. The airport authority had designed the building with a covered walkway right up to the parking position of each aircraft. We walked past the luggage processing center, passing an Emirates B777, and over to our Turkish Airlines flight. Representatives were handing out umbrellas but we just walked to the jet bridge without the umbrellas.

Passing by a Wet Emirates Boeing 777
Walking to Our Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200
Boarding Turkish Airlines Yedigōller
Turkish Airlines
TK 749 – Business Class (O)
SEZ – IST (Mahe – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport)
June 11, 2018
9:10 PM – 4:10 AM + 1
Booked: Airbus 330-200
Flown: Airbus 330-200

On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:

We climbed up the jet bridge stairs and settled into our seats. These Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200’s started off life as Jet Airways aircraft. The Turkish Airlines Business Class 1 – 1 – 1 configuration is similar to the Air Canada XM Business Class configuration that the carrier used to outfit with it’s business class seats. You can read about our experiences on that configuration on our review of Air Canada Business Class London – Vancouver. Getting back to Turkish Airlines, the cabin is set in a light purple color scheme which took a little getting used to.

The Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200 Business Class cabin
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin

This business class seat configuration was state of the art about 10 years ago but the whole configuration is showing quite a bit of wear and tear. The latches and seats are grinding and groaning and the tables didn’t click functionally like most do. I had a hard time actually getting my table out, which shows the age of this product.

Sitting in the seats themselves, the seats are angled towards other passengers making this one of the less private business class offerings. It takes a little to get used to looking at other passengers all the time and having other passengers looking at you.

A Seat with a View of Other Passengers

The seats had built in cupholders and a magazine rack. There was also a small compartment for phone storage. The entertainment system was controlled by a wired remote.

A Cup Holder with Fold Away Arm Rests
Small Storage Compartments
A Wired Remote Control

Pre Departure Services:

With a flight departure time of 9:10 PM, the purser came on the air at 8:30 PM to announce that boarding was complete. We were offered a pre-departure beverage of the usual Turkish drinks; water, orange, lemon and mint and raspberry. I had my usual lemon and mint, which was always tasty and a great non alcoholic way to start a flight.

A Pre-Departure Lemon – Mint Beverage

The Amenity Kits: Bentley Fragrances Kits

As we settled in on board, the amenity kits were dropped off. Tonight’s kits were more substantial than the outbound Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Dar Es Salaam kits but were the same lean Bentley Kits that we had on Turkish Airlines Business Class Toronto – Istanbul; a long haul version of the amenity kits.

Bentley Fragrances Amenity Kits
Contents of the Bentley Amenity Kits

A pair of Denon headphones were also dropped off. The headphones appeared to be quite new.

We departed the Seychelles International Airport approximately 8:45 PM. We had left about 25 minutes early, before the scheduled flight departure time.

Our Flight Track Up the Red Seat and over the Gulf of Aden

The Meal: A Full Dinner

Turkish Airlines dinner service started promptly; something that I appreciated given that it was a night flight with a 9:15 PM departure time. The whole dinner was over within 60 minutes of taking off.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu Seychelles – Istanbul
A Straight Forward Beverage List

The crew offered a pre-supper cocktail. I started with a gin and tonic along with the starter nuts.

A Gin and Tonic with Macadamia Nuts

The First Course was offered as mozzarella and tomatoes, shepards salad with white cheese and a selection of cheese and carrot cake all served at once.

First Course: mozzarella and tomatoes.

I asked for the lighter Rigatoni with creamy tomato sauce and eggplant pasta dish. Unfortunately, they had run out of it by the time that they had arrived to my row, so they sourced another pasta dish, likely from the inbound flight. It was cream based rigatoni with parsley. It hit the spot but was pretty forgettable.

An Off Menu Cream Based Rigatoni with Parsley

The Turkish crew turned down the seat with a mattress pad and a blanket. I pretty much turned in for the night and attempted sleep for the rest of the way. My 6ft 2inch frame did not fit as well as I remembered it in these types of herringbone chairs. I found the seat to be too short and too narrow to side sleep, often at times stretching my feet into the aisle for comfort.

The flight had a few bumps throughout as it took a track inward towards continental Africa, across Somalia, Sudan, Egypt and over the Mediterranean. What made matters more bothersome was that the seat belt sign kept going on and off. Every time they did this (at least 3 times that I was awake for), we had three sets of pre-recorded announcements advising everyone to buckle up in Turkish, English and French. Ugh!

Our Flight Track Took Us Over North Eastern Africa

The Second Service: A Full Breakfast

I ended up deliberately sleeping through the second service. I didn’t bother to get up for it as it was just another cheese omelette. I was also comfortable with the fact that we had a 10 hour layover in a very comfortable and pleasant Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul where we would have access to proper food and water.

Arriving to Istanbul:

We had an early morning arrival to Istanbul Atatürk airport, arriving at 3:20 AM at 50 minutes ahead of schedule. Pulling up to the apron, we found a business class bus waiting for us. We were transferred to the terminal for arrival without any issue.

Arriving to Istanbul
A Turkish Airlines Business Class Bus Awaited for Us

My Thoughts on Turkish Airlines Business Class:

It’s neat that Turkish Airlines has decided to fly to the Seychelles. It’s a great way to get too and from the island. The only difficult part is the odd arrival time into Istanbul which makes for a long connection to another part of the world. The service on board was pleasant, although I am sure it will not be long before these older Airbus 330-200 aircraft are retired from the Turkish fleet or refreshed to more modern seat product.

If you flown on the older Turkish Airlines Business Class, did you find it better than their usual twin seat configuration ?

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