Ethiopian Airlines is set to increase its presence in the London market by launching nonstop services to London Gatwick Airport. Starting from November 21, 2023, the airline will operate three weekly flights between Addis Ababa and London Gatwick using their modern A350-900 XWB aircraft, as observed by Aeroroutes. This strategic move marks Ethiopian Airlines’ return to Gatwick after serving the airport with a one-stop flight more than a decade ago. The new route aims to strengthen connectivity between Africa and the United Kingdom while catering to growing travel demand in the region.
Expansion to London Gatwick
Ethiopian Airlines’ decision to expand its service to London Gatwick comes as the carrier enhances its flight offerings to the UK. The new nonstop route will provide passengers with increased convenience and a more direct option for travel between Addis Ababa and London. Ethiopian will become Gatwick’s second sub-Saharan African operator, joining Air Mauritius, which will begin service on later in October 30th, replacing Heathrow.
The new nonstop service, flight ET718, will depart Addis Ababa at 00:15 and arrive at London Gatwick at 05:15 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The return flight, ET719, will take off from London Gatwick at 10:10 and reach Addis Ababa at 20:40 on the same days. The primary purpose of this new route is to facilitate seamless connections via Addis Ababa to several key African destinations, including Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lusaka, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Entebbe, and Seychelles. It is also anticipated to stimulate point-to-point demand between Addis Ababa and London, contributing to the growth of Ethiopia as a hub for travel within the African continent.
Ethiopian Airlines’ African Network Update
In addition to the expansion to London Gatwick, Ethiopian Airlines is also making significant changes to its African network for the Northern Winter 2023/24 season. Some key updates include:
Blantyre: The airline maintains its three weekly nonstop terminator service, in addition to the four weekly services via Beira on the inbound flight.
Brazzaville – Pointe Noire: One of the seven weekly flights will be operated using a 737 MAX 8 aircraft, replacing the 787-8/-9.
Bujumbura: The frequency of flights increases from seven to eleven weekly, with the new flight operated by a 737-700/-800.
Cape Town: Ethiopian Airlines will replace the A350-900XWB with a 787-8 aircraft, resulting in 11 weekly flights.
Dar es Salaam – Moroni: One of the two daily services to Dar es Salaam will extend to Moroni, operated by a mix of 787-8 and A350-900XWB.
Gaborone: The two weekly 737 MAX 8 nonstop terminator flights have been consolidated via Victoria Falls on the outbound leg.