Ethiopian Airlines (ET) announced the introduction of a seven times weekly direct flight from West Africa into New York effective June. Four of the flights will be into JFK international via Lome Togo, while the remaining three will be into Newark International Airport via Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire.
The move according to the Airline is a strategic restructuring of its network, opening new destinations, adding frequencies and shifting gateways as it seeks to offer passengers travelling between West Africa and the US the best possible alternative connectivity and shortest possible routes.ET will be deploying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the new Lome -Abidjan Transatlantic routes potentially to boost its share of the highly lucrative neighbouring Nigerian and Ghanaian market.
ET Group Chief Email Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said that “the new move is informed by the fact that the US 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 routes to Houston are in response to the market demand and will provide the best possible connectivity to over 60 African destinations,” said Mr Tewolde.
ET also plans to increase its current frequency from Addis-Ababa into Washington DC from a daily flight to 10 flights a week. The three additional flights will depart Addis Ababa in the morning via Abidjan to arrive in Washington DC in the evening. The airline further plans to increase the current three flights per week to five.
Part of the Airline’s gateway restructuring strategy led to the stoppage of its Los Angeles route replacing it with a new Houston gateway to take advantage of the large African community in the city, concentration of oil companies and others doing business on the African continent. The three weekly flights on this route will be via West Africa.
“In line with our roadmap, we by will keep on expanding our US and African network to facilitate people-to-people ties and the flow of investment, trade and tourism,” Mr Tewolde said.