Airbus A320; Niki has 11 of these aircraft in its fleet. The Abu Dhabi-Vienna shuttle version has eight business and 138 economy class seats.
Abu Dhabi to Vienna
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.
Economy. Seat 8A in a 3-3 layout. There are eight business class seats in a 2-2 configuration at the front.
Just over six hours. We leave and arrive on time.
A window seat towards the front of the cabin, the pitch is 30 inches (76 centimetres) and width is 18 inches (46 centimetres).
Economy passengers can check in one piece of luggage up to 23 kilograms and carry on a cabin bag weighing up to eight kilograms.
No in-seat systems. Business class passengers are given iPads with an inflight program. Movies are shown on shared screens on longer flights. Given the timing on the flight most people choose to eat first and sleep. A standout entertainment feature is the Wi-Fi access – passengers can pay for anywhere from 30 minutes access for the duration of the flight with pricing ranging from $7.80 to $30.
Pillows, blankets and amenity kits are provided free of charge for all passengers. The pillows are nice and soft, the blanket keeps me reasonably warm, and the amenity kit has the usual suspects – a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, a sleeping mask and socks. Niki is classed as a low-cost airline, however the comfort trimmings are on par with full-service carriers.
All staff members on board were hospitable, quick to attend to passenger needs and service always came with a smile.
The halal-certified menu is changed four times a year and breakfast choices comprise of a spinach omelette with a beef sausage, hash brown and beans or a baked egg atop a chickpea, tomato, onion and eggplant concoction. I choose the baked egg and enjoy the medley of flavours. The fruit salad and yoghurt with mango compote completes the meal and I slept 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.
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.