Ethiopian Airlines plans to add three new Asian destinations to its network from June 18: Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Seoul.
From June 18, the carrier will also begin operating flights directly from its Addis Ababa base to Hong Kong daily, it said in a statement. It currently serves Hong Kong 4X-weekly via Bangkok. Ho Chi Minh City will become part of a 3X-weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur-Ho Chi Minh City routing using a Boeing 767-300ER. There will be a fourth weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur routing that will not extend to Ho Chi Minh City.
Ethiopian indicated Manila and Seoul will be served via Hong Kong. It did not specify frequencies for those cities.
The carrier said it will serve Asia from Addis Ababa via two gateway cities. “Bangkok will serve mainland Southeast Asia and Hong Kong will serve East Asian cities,” the airline stated.
An Ethiopian representative told ATW the carrier would use the Boeing 787 on at least some of these routes if the aircraft’s grounding is lifted. The airline has four Dreamliners in its fleet and six more on order. Otherwise, it will likely use 767s on the routes.
CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement that the new Asian destinations are a “continuation of our efforts to achieve the goal of connecting Africa to the world by adding multiple points in Asia and serving the air connectivity needs of the continent.”
He told ATW last year that Ethiopian’s eventual goal is to turn Addis Ababa into a Dubai-like connecting hub.