Monday, September 3, 2007
Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will be suspending all its flights to Amsterdam, Holland and instead increasing services to Brussels from 3 to 6 times per week. This will come into effect from Oct 28th 07. Three of the BRU flights will be flown via FRA and the other 3 via CDG. All six flights though will be operated with the Boeing 767-300ER. In addition, the airline's CEO has announced that it is extremely interested in increasing its flights to North America by launching new routes to YYZ, ORD, ATL and restarting NYC.
Its good to know that ET is interested in flying to North America but it must be careful on how it handles its expansion as it mustn't expand too rapidly. Currently, it flies to IAD via FCO with full 5th freedom rights. As for YYZ, there is no bilateral treaty in place between ADD & YOW, thus not permitting ET to fly there until one is negotiated. It would be best if ET delayed their ambitious plans until their B 787s arrive which means 2009 at the earliest.
Also, it would be wise for them not to consider ORD and instead fly to MIA which has a huge African population in the MIA/FLL area. MIA has already offered KQ and ET an attractive package to launch new flights to the city such as one year's worth of landing fees being waived as well as other discounts on ground handling services.
As for how their USA flights should be routed, ET should look into flying to MIA via ACC (5th freedom rights available as the U.S. and Ghana have an open skies agreement) with the Boeing 787-900 three times a week initially to test the market and then expand further based upon the route's performance.