Turkish Airlines operates a two-class B777-300 ER on its daily service between the spanking new Istanbul Airport and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. The evening service between Istanbul and Mumbai connects seamlessly with flights coming in from North America and the rest of Europe, providing easy one-stop connectivity for several destinations.
Following an extremely pleasant hour-long stop at Turkish Airlines’ plush business class lounge, I proceeded towards my boarding gate. Boarding began exactly 50 minutes prior to scheduled departure in an orderly seat-wise format. I enjoyed priority boarding for business class passengers and I boarded through door 1 left of the aircraft. I was warmly greeted by the chief purser and shown to my seat, following which I was offered a selection of refreshing beverages.
This aircraft’s cabin is configured in a simple 2-3-2 format. The seat is extremely comfortable and spacious, with controls for the seat position. In fully flat bed mode, the seat connects with a front ottoman, and is perfect for a long slumber. In addition, the seat also comes with a USB port and a power socket, an essential for business travellers.
I like to choose the window seat (A or K). While you do have a fellow traveller next to you, there is a fair amount of privacy and you feel shielded by the cabin wall. Note that if you are a solo traveller, there is a middle seat in this cabin, which must be avoided as far as possible.
On boarding, I was handed a blanket, a pillow and a pair of disposable slippers. In addition, the crew handed over an amenity kit comprising a pair of socks, an eyeshade, a lip balm, a lotion and a dental kit. Menu cards were handed out as well. Turkish Airlines meals are exquisitely presented and a ‘flying chef’ comes around to take drink and meal orders. I chose some fresh orange juice before my meal. The meal comprised a fresh salad with Turkish mezze, and a round of warm bread. This was followed by a trolley of main course options, which included both a Turkish shrimp option and an Indian vegetarian option. I chose the former. After dessert, a round of Turkish coffee and tea followed, and then I checked out the inflight entertainment system (excellent quality headphones were provided), with a wide range of international and even Bollywood flicks.
Arrival: The flight arrived into Mumbai almost six hours later, bang on schedule.
Verdict: An extremely comfortable business class product, coupled with great inflight service and F&B options.
Price: Internet rates for a one-way business class from Istanbul to Mumbai is upwards of ₺7,329/₹ 90,000