Africa’s biggest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines has commenced its Togo to Washington flight operation via Lome, making it the third US route from Lomé, joining Newark (4x weekly) and JFK (3x weekly).
The airline has five(5) flights daily and twenty nine(29) weekly flights between Africa and America.
According to simpleflying.com, Ethiopian announced Lomé-Dulles just six weeks ago, very little advanced notice for any route, let alone long-haul. Like Newark and JFK, it starts and ends in Addis Ababa, the Star Alliance carrier’s hub. Full traffic rights exist between Lomé and the US airports.
Ethiopian’s second route to Dulles
Operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, Addis Ababa-Lomé-Washington uses 270-seat B787-8s. The first flight, which, when writing, is in Togo preparing to fly to the US, uses ET-AOQ, delivered to Ethiopian in August 2012. The aircraft arrived in Addis Ababa from Johannesburg at 05:53 before taking off to Togo and Dulles at 09:03.
READ: Aviation: African Carrier, Ethiopian Airlines To Commence Three Weekly Flights Operations To Chennai, India From 2nd July
Ethiopian now links Dulles 10x weekly, with this new service supplementing its existing 1x daily Addis Ababa-Washington, which operates outbound via Dublin, mainly using B777-300ERs. It stops in the Irish capital for 45 minutes to refuel because of Addis Ababa’s high elevation, limiting take-off performance. When ground time en route is included, it is 45 minutes quicker to fly via Dublin than via Lomé.
Initially, it seemed that Ethiopian planned to increase flights to Washington from March 2023, so it was brought forward significantly. It was previously expected to operate via Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, located 362 miles (582km) west of Lomé.
Sensibly, it changed to routing via Lomé instead, with passengers able to transit over the Africa airport to/from destinations operated by Ethiopian’s partner, ASKY – just as they do for existing Newark and JFK. With about a 90-minute wait in Lomé, Lagos, Accra, Abuja, and Douala are probably the most important markets.