Ethiopian Airlines will begin operating its twice-weekly Addis Ababa-Toronto service with Boeing 787 Dreamliners on November 9.
Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines started operating two round-trips a week to Toronto, its second destination in North America, on July 16.
Less than a month later, on August 14, it took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8, becoming only the third customer to receive one and the third airline (after All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines) to operate the type.
Ethiopian took delivery of its second Boeing 787-8 on October 3 and after the aircraft arrived at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on October 5, the carrier immediately put the aircraft into service on a commercial flight to Paris. Ethiopian has subsequently taken delivery of the third of 10 Boeing 787-8s it has ordered directly the from manufacturer.
On November 1, Ethiopian announced it would lease three Boeing 787-8 widebodies from the first half of 2015 from Los Angeles-based leasing company International Lease Finance Corporation. With 74 Boeing 787s on firm order, ILFC is the biggest single customer for the Boeing 787 to date.
All of the 10 Boeing 787-8s Ethiopian Airlines has ordered from Boeing are due to be delivered by the end of 2015.
According to Ethiopian Airlines, its Toronto-Addis Ababa flights connect Toronto via Addis Ababa to the airline’s extensive network in Africa, including cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Lusaka, Bujumbura, Seychelles, Douala, Kinshasa, and Harare.
Meanwhile, passengers traveling from cities in North America such as Montréal, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and San Francisco have been able to connect conveniently via Toronto Pearson International Airport to Africa on Ethiopian from the flights of fellow Star Alliance member carrier Air Canada, while also earning and redeeming miles on both airlines.
“As the only direct flight between Toronto and Africa, this route has created critical air connectivity between Africa and Canada and is serving as an important vehicle for promoting all round relations,” says Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian. “We are very pleased to offer our passengers on this route the best possible product with the most advanced level of on-board comfort.”
Ethiopian says it is hoping to obtain additional service frequencies on its Addis Ababa-Toronto route, but Transport Canada, Canada’s aviation authority, is widely regarded as being protectionist on behalf of Air Canada in terms of granting foreign airlines additional services.
However, Air Canada is a partner of Ethiopian Airlines in Star Alliance and the two carriers’ cooperation may help persuade Transport Canada to award Ethiopian the additional service frequencies it seeks.