Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) will continue to see Ethiopian service to Addis Ababa via Abidjan, Ivory Coast as the East African carrier plans to Re-introduce the route, according to Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam in an interview with Aviation Week.
The airline has gone back and forth on this route, previously in the summer of 2019 announcing a 3X-weekly Addis Ababa–Abidjan–Washington Dulles service which it only operated on two occasions in June of that year.
But should Ethiopian launch Abidjan-Washington flights, the route would become the airline’s second to the US city alongside its existing Addis Ababa-Dublin-Washington Dulles-Addis Ababa route which it operates daily with the Boeing 777-200LR contingent.
GebreMariam also revealed that there are talks ongoing with relevant bodies in Canada to start Montreal flights via Dublin.
Ethiopian currently operates three North America routes from Addis Ababa via Dublin, flying to Chicago O’Hare, Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Washington Dulles.
Outbound services require the stop because of the Ethiopian capital’s high altitude, although the carrier can operate nonstop flights on the inbound leg.
If Ethiopian gets the green light to open a route to Montreal, Addis Ababa would become the fourth destination in Africa to be served from the Canadian city.
In addition, GebreMariam also namechecked Houston, Amsterdam and Amman as future destinations for Ethiopian.
Pre-pandemic flights to Houston, Texas operated 4X a week from Addis Ababa via Lomé, Togo in both directions mainly for refueling purposes and used the 787-8 dreamliner.
The flight path between Addis Ababa and Houston covers a total of 7,279 nautical miles, which cuts close to the Boeing 787-8s range of 7, 668 nautical miles, according to Boeing.
In this way, although a refueling stop is not strictly necessary, it allows the airline to play on the safe side and have maneuvering room to mitigate complications.
Moreover, Ethiopian carried fifth freedom rights to transport passengers between Togo and the United States, which helped the airline optimize loads by serving an additional market.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo