With over 10,000 seats, Dubai is the top destination for Africa’s largest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines as it serves 92 international airports on a passenger basis in July 2021.
According to simpleflying.com, Dubai is number one by seats and flights with a three-daily all-widebody operation, while the USA has the most destinations of any country. We examine Ethiopian’s network this month.
The United Arab Emirates is Ethiopian Airlines’ top country this month. This is quite a shift from pre-pandemic times when China was very much in front because of the large amount of traffic between the country and the African continent. Only Shanghai Pudong is now served; back then, it was also Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Pudong.
92 international destinations
This month, Ethiopian Airlines’ international network is as follows. Because of border closures and restrictions, Asia-Pacific has fallen to eight destinations from 14 in July 2019. The Middle East has reduced from 11 to eight, mainly because of Saudi Arabia presently prohibiting entry from Ethiopia and other countries, except in certain circumstances.
One-stops are vital
One-stop routes, such as Addis Ababa-Brussels-Manchester and back the reverse way, are crucial to Ethiopian. So too are triangular routings, such as Addis Ababa-Lusaka-Harare-Addis Ababa. We previously examined the carrier’s one-stops to the USA, which are necessary rather than a commercial decision.
Stops en route, when they’re desired anyway, enable more destinations to be served, especially with widebodies. However, they increase journey times and may reduce competitiveness. This may mean that they need to reduce prices further while operating costs rise.
The USA has the most destinations
Ethiopian Airlines serves three airports in a small number of countries, such as Nigeria (Abuja, Kano, Lagos), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi), and Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar). But it is the US that has the most destinations this month. Four are served, with Washington Dulles the most significant:
• Chicago: once-daily
• New York JFK: three-weekly
• Newark: three-weekly
• Washington Dulles: once-daily
All about Africa
Obviously, Ethiopian revolves around its strong African network, and it sells it to the world. The arrivals and departures as its Addis Ababa hub are very strongly coordinated to maximize connectivity.
The 39 African countries it serves (the same number in July 2019) are primarily in the East, Central, South, and West. The countries it doesn’t serve are mainly in North Africa (such as Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco) and smaller nations in West Africa (like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Mauritania). This is due to distance, market size, geographic locations, and more.
Dubai is #1 this month
Dubai leads Ethiopian’s destinations with over 10,000 seats in July. It has 32,000, some 13,000 more than Johannesburg. Dubai is served three-daily by widebodies, primarily the 399-seat B777-300ER, 348-seat A350-900, and 270-seat B787-8.
• Dubai: approximately 32,005 round-trip seats in July
• Johannesburg: 19,117
• Entebbe: 11,642
• Kinshasa: 11,639
• Washington Dulles: 11,325
• Nairobi: 11,282
• Paris CDG: 10,733
• London Heathrow: 10,633
• Frankfurt: 10,537
• Khartoum: 10,512
• Accra: 10,487
• Harare: 10,039
• Lusaka: 10,039
If flights are looked at instead, Dubai is still number-one. However, Entebbe jumps to second, while Hargeisa (Somaliland), Djibouti, and Mogadishu all enter the top-10.