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Dubai Is Ethiopian’s Top July Destination: Where Else Is It Flying?

As well as a strong domestic network, Ethiopian Airlines serves 92 international airports on a passenger basis in July 2021. Dubai is number one by seats and flights with a three-daily all-widebody operation, while the USA has the most destinations of any country. We examine Ethiopian’s network this month.

Ethiopian Airlines B787
92 international destinations comprise Ethiopian’s international network. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The United Arab Emirates is Ethiopian Airlines’ top country this month. This is quite a shift from pre-pandemic times when China was very much in front because of the large amount of traffic between the country and the African continent. Only Shanghai Pudong is now served; back then, it was also Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Pudong.

Ethiopian B787-8
Ethiopian launched various new routes in 2019, including Athens, Bangalore, Garowe, Istanbul, Marseille, and Port Harcourt. Chennai was set to begin in early 2020. Photo: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia.

92 international destinations

This month, Ethiopian Airlines’ international network is as follows. Because of border closures and restrictions, Asia-Pacific has fallen to eight destinations from 14 in July 2019. The Middle East has reduced from 11 to eight, mainly because of Saudi Arabia presently prohibiting entry from Ethiopia and other countries, except in certain circumstances.

July 2021 Ethiopian Airlines’ destinations from Addis Ababa Number of countries served
Africa (excluding Ethiopia) 54 39
Europe 16 13
Middle East 8 7
Asia-Pacific 8 7
North America 5 2
Latin America 1 1
Totals 92 69

One-stops are vital

One-stop routes, such as Addis Ababa-Brussels-Manchester and back the reverse way, are crucial to Ethiopian. So too are triangular routings, such as Addis Ababa-Lusaka-Harare-Addis Ababa. We previously examined the carrier’s one-stops to the USA, which are necessary rather than a commercial decision.

Stops en route, when they’re desired anyway, enable more destinations to be served, especially with widebodies. However, they increase journey times and may reduce competitiveness. This may mean that they need to reduce prices further while operating costs rise.

Ethiopian A350
The airline has many one-stop operations. It must have concluded that the extra cost and complexity of such operations are worth it network-wise. Photo: Tom Boom – Simple Flying

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The USA has the most destinations

Ethiopian Airlines serves three airports in a small number of countries, such as Nigeria (Abuja, Kano, Lagos), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi), and Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar). But it is the US that has the most destinations this month. Four are served, with Washington Dulles the most significant:

  • Chicago: once-daily
  • New York JFK: three-weekly
  • Newark: three-weekly
  • Washington Dulles: once-daily
Ethiopian B777-300ER
The B777-300ER (seen here) has about 61,000 seats this month. This means the type is the fifth most used internationally by this measure, behind the B787-8, A350-900, B737-800, and B787-9. However, it has more capacity than the B737-700, B777-200LR, B767-300ER, and Dash-8-Q400. Photo: John Taggart via Wikimedia.

All about Africa

Obviously, Ethiopian revolves around its strong African network, and it sells it to the world. The arrivals and departures as its Addis Ababa hub are very strongly coordinated to maximize connectivity.

The 39 African countries it serves (the same number in July 2019) are primarily in the East, Central, South, and West. The countries it doesn’t serve are mainly in North Africa (such as Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco) and smaller nations in West Africa (like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Mauritania). This is due to distance, market size, geographic locations, and more.

Ethiopian Dash 8-400
Ethiopian uses its Dash-8-Q400s on two international routes this month: from Addis to Juba (569 miles) and Garowe (669 miles). These are far shorter than the world’s longest turboprop routes. Photo: Getty Images

Dubai is #1 this month

Dubai leads Ethiopian’s destinations with over 10,000 seats in July. It has 32,000, some 13,000 more than Johannesburg. Dubai is served three-daily by widebodies, primarily the 399-seat B777-300ER, 348-seat A350-900, and 270-seat B787-8.

  • Dubai: approximately 32,005 round-trip seats in July
  • Johannesburg: 19,117
  • Entebbe: 11,642
  • Kinshasa: 11,639
  • Washington Dulles: 11,325
  • Nairobi: 11,282
  • Paris CDG: 10,733
  • London Heathrow: 10,633
  • Frankfurt: 10,537
  • Khartoum: 10,512
  • Accra: 10,487
  • Harare: 10,039
  • Lusaka: 10,039
Ethiopian Airlines A350
Dubai is the most-served destination. Photo: Getty Images.

If flights are looked at instead, Dubai is still number-one. However, Entebbe jumps to second, while Hargeisa (Somaliland), Djibouti, and Mogadishu all enter the top-10.

Have you flown the airline? If so, what are your thoughts about it and its Addis hub? Let us know in the comments.

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