Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s leading carrier, has announced a major restructuring of its United States network to offer passengers travelling between Africa and the U.S. the best possible connectivity and the shortest routes.
It plans to introduce three flights a week to the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, in addition to its flights to the city’s Newark International Airport.
Four of its daily flights to New York, four will be through Lomé, Togo, to Newark Airport and three via Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to JFK, starting June. The introduction of flights to JFK is seen as a bid to protect its U.S. market while offering alternative connections.
Flights to Washington D.C. flights will be increased from seven flights to ten weekly flights. The three newly introduced flights will depart Addis Ababa in the morning via Abidjan and arrive in the evening. The current three weekly flights to Chicago will be increased to five.
Houston will serve as a new gateway. It will replace Los Angeles, and it will be served three times per week via West Africa. The new Houston flights are aimed at taking advantage of the large African community in the city, its concentration of oil companies and others doing business on the continent. It will be the only connection between Houston and Africa and this.
The Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam said: “the U.S. is among the airline’s most important markets due 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. In line with our roadmap, we will keep on expanding our U.S. and African network to facilitate people-to-people ties and the flow of investment, trade and tourism.”
Last week, the carrier opened a new 373-room Skylight Hotel, the largest in Ethiopia, and a new passenger terminal. The national carrier also announced complimentary city tour package for its global passengers starting January 25. This package includes six to eight hours’ time in Addis Ababa, a journey through the city’s National Museum, a taste of Ethiopian coffee and souvenir shopping.