The unstoppable Ethiopian Airlines will be inaugurating a new route this December.
From December 15th, passengers will be able to fly nonstop on Ethiopian Airlines from Houston to Africa. Ethiopian’s service to Houston will operate from Addis Ababa via Lome in Togo with Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
Early in 2019, Ethiopian Airlines announced that they were changing their services to the United States. Service to Los Angeles would terminate in favor of a new thrice-weekly service from Addis Ababa to Houston via Lome, Togo. Ethiopian released the following statement on the route restructuring:
The U.S. is among our most important markets owing to the presence of a large African community and growing business and tourism ties with Africa. Our new route structure with additional frequencies to multiple gateways and the opening of new route to Houston are aimed at responding to the market demand and availing best possible connectivity to over 60 African destinations.
Routesonline reports that the new route will launch on December 15, 2019 with thrice-weekly service. The service will depart Addis Ababa on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Houston departures are on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will depart Addis Ababa at 9:30PM. After a stop in Lome and a long transatlantic flight, the aircraft will touch down in Houston at 8:40AM the next day. Ethiopian’s aircraft will depart Houston at 11:00AM and finally arrive in Addis Ababa the next day at 2:30PM.
For one, Ethiopian Airlines does not face much competition from Houston to Africa. In fact, the airline will be the only carrier to offer flights from Houston to Africa. Economically speaking, Houston is an oil and business hub. Thus, there is a significant potential for business connectivity that Ethiopian Airlines is trying to gain access to.
Houston is also a major hub for United Airlines. And, compared to Los Angeles, Houston offers a plethora of additional connections for passengers.
Addis Ababa is at a high altitude. Thus, the aerodynamics concerning takeoff are not favorable for launching nonstop service to the United States. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines flies several one-stops from Addis Ababa to the United States and other destinations in part due to this problem. However, instead of operating nonstop in the eastbound, Ethiopian Airlinescan route via Lome and offer additional connections there through ASKY airlines- with whom Ethiopian Airlines partners with.
Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787-8s offer 24 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.
As is standard in economy class, Ethiopian’s 787-8 feature a 3-3-3 configuration.
Ethiopian Airlines keeps on growing. With this new flight, Africa’s largest carrier will offer new connections both to and from the United States. Africa is a unique and growing aviation market with incredible potential.
By Jay Singh