Ethiopian Airlines’ A350 to make China debut

Ethiopian Airlines A350-900`

Ethiopian Airlines will be debuting its A350 aircraft in China this week when it changes equipment on its Addis Ababa-Beijing route starting May 9.

According to the airline’s schedule, the daily flight ET604/ET605 will see the B777-200LR currently operating the route replaced with the newer Airbus. Flight ET604 departing Addis Ababa at 0230 on Tuesday, May 9 will be the first flight on the route to see the aircraft, with the first A350 return flight ET605 departing Beijing just after midnight at 1210 on Wednesday, May 10.

The A350, along with the B787 Dreamliner, is part of Ethiopian’s overall route network expansion and fleet modernisation plan, according to CEO Tewolde GebreMariam. Starting June 5, Ethiopian is set to begin a new direct service between Addis Ababa and Chengdu using a B787.

Ethiopian received its third A350 in February, which it named after Erta Ale, a large volcano located in the country’s north-eastern Afar Region.

Last year, it began operating its A350 service between the Ethiopian capital and London Heathrow, and was reviewed by Business Traveller.

Ethiopian Airlines names latest A350 after volcano

View into the heart of earth - Erta Ale, Ethiopia

Ethiopian Airlines names latest A350 after volcano

Its third Airbus A350 XWB is named after Erta Ale, a large basaltic shield volcano located in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Airline has received its third Airbus A350XWB aircraft and named it after Erta Ale, a large basaltic shield volcano located in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia.

The airline is in the middle of a fleet modernization programme which has seen it introduce both Boeing B787 Dreamliners and the Airbus A350XWB programme.

For reviews of these see


Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said, “As part of our continuous fleet modernization program, we have now phased in a third Airbus A350 XWB 900. Both the B-787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A-350 are the most technologically advanced airplanes in the world today and we are highly delighted that we are one of the very few airlines in the world to own and operate both airplanes at their early stage in service. Ethiopian Airlines customers will have the special privilege of experiencing the superior features and services of both airplanes. These environmentally green planes are enabling us to expand our vast network to new and exciting destinations like Oslo in Norway, Singapore, Chengdu in China, Jakarta in Indonesia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Antananarivo in Madagascar.”

The new aircraft has a configuration of 30 Cloud Nine business and 313 economy class seats. Ethiopian was the first African Airline to take delivery of Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.


Singapore and Ethiopian Airlines enhance codeshare

Ethiopian Airlines A350-900`

Following last month’s announcement of Ethiopian Airlines’ new direct Addis Ababa-Singapore service starting this June, the African airline has expanded its codeshare agreement with the Lion City’s flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA), according to industry website

Starting the same month as Ethiopian’s ET0638 and ET0639 flight, the expanded codeshare will see SIA’s SQ code now displayed on Ethiopian’s flights between Addis Ababa and Entebbe, Kilimanjaro, Mombassa and Nairobi.

The Singapore carrier’s SQ code also appears on Ethiopian’s services between Addis Ababa and Abidjan and Conakry, Mahe Island, Maputo, N’Djamena, Ouagadougou, Singapore, and Victoria Falls and Gaborone.

Speaking about Ethiopian’s upcoming Singapore service, the carrier’s CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said the route will serve the growing traffic between the two countries and contribute to the strengthening of trade, investment and tourism ties – and the expanded codeshare appears set to further add to this development.

Ethiopian’s five-times-weekly ET0638 and ET0639 flights will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

In a further expansion of its Asia-Pacific operations, earlier this month Ethiopian announced it would begin direct flights between Addis Ababa and Chengdu on June 5.

Meanwhile, SIA has been expanding its Europe and Asia-Pacific operations with the announcement of increased flight frequencies to Europe and Australia between June and September, along with launching a new Stockholm service via Moscow in May.;

Ethiopian to launch direct Addis Ababa-Chengdu flights

Ethiopian Airlines will be launching a new direct Addis Ababa-Chengdu service on June 5, 2017, replacing its previously planned three-times-weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Chengdu service that was scheduled to launch a day earlier.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was alerted to the news by industry website and searches of the carrier’s flight schedule show the new non-stop service, though departure and arrival times are not yet listed. The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

According to routesonline, the new direct route will remain a three-times-weekly service, with each leg departing early morning. Flight ET636 from Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa departs at 0010 and arrives in Chengdu (CTU) at 1440 local time. The return ET637 departs the following day at 0150 local time and arrives back in the Ethiopian capital at 0620.

Full details of the non-stop service are reportedly as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
ET636 ADD CTU 0010 1440 Mon, Wed, Fri
ET367 CTU ADD 0150 0620 Tue, Thu, Sat

While the carrier will no longer be transiting via Bangkok on its Chengdu route, a fourth weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Manila flight will be introduced on June 4 this year, while an Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Jakarta three-times-weekly service will also launch on June 5.

Meanwhile last month, the African carrier announced it would also begin a direct Addis Ababa-Singapore service starting June 2, also using a B787-8 Dreamliner.

Ethiopian Airlines to launch direct Singapore service

Addis-Ababa Ethiopia

Starting June 2, 2017, travellers between Singapore and Africa will be able to make use of a new direct service between Addis Ababa and the Lion City. The new service will be launched by Ethiopian Airlines, which will deploy its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on the five-times-weekly route.

Flight ET 0638 departs just after midnight and arrives in Singapore in the mid-afternoon at 1450 local time. The return ET 0639 flight departs Singapore at 0200 and arrives back in Addis Ababa at 0620 local time. Both legs operate on all days except Tuesday and Saturday.

“Our direct and non-stop flights will serve the growing traffic between Africa and Singapore, giving the best possible connectivity options to passengers travelling between most points in Asia and Africa, in partnership with fellow Star member, Singapore Airlines,” said the airline’s CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam.

“Ethiopian flights to Singapore will also greatly contribute to the strengthening of trade, investment, and tourism ties between a booming Africa and a highly developed, innovative and business-friendly Singapore.”

GebreMariam added that the carrier’s Dreamliner offers traveller on the new route improved comfort, including reduced noise levels, higher humidity and large windows. Claimed to be the “largest and fastest-growing African airline”, Ethiopian currently operates a fleet with an average aircraft age of five years.

Details of the new service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
ET 0638 Addis Ababa Singapore 0040 1450 Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun
ER0639 Singapore Addis Ababa 0200 0620

Ethiopian Airlines to commence A350 flights from Heathrow this month


Ethiopian Airlines to commence A350 flights from Heathrow this month

First flight on August 14 as carrier becomes first African airline to fly the Airbus A350XWB

Ethiopian Airlines’ A350 XWB, will be launched on the London Heathrow route on August 14, 2016. The aircraft has been named “Simien Mountains”

The Business class cabin, ‘Cloud 9’, will be outfitted with 30 state of the art BCE diamond seats which convert to a 78” fully lie-flat bed in a 2x2x2 configuration.

Economy will have 313 seats in a 3X3X3 configuration offering 32” of seat pitch to passengers.

Ethiopian has ordered 14 Airbus A350 aircraft in total.

Michael Yared, Ethiopian Airlines Country Manager UK, said: “We are proud to be the only airline in Africa operating the ultra-modern Airbus A350. Equally myself and the team in UK are excited to have the brand new A350 aircraft on the route to meet the increased demand and look forward to showcasing the product to our valued customers, industry colleagues and partners’’.

Ethiopian has a modern fleet including the B787, B777-300ER, B777-200LR, B777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. It flies to 92 international destinations across five continents.


Ethiopian Airlines set to operate A350 on London route


Ethiopian Airlines will operate its new Airbus A350 aircraft on the daily service between Addis Ababa and London Heathrow from mid-August.

Business Traveller was alerted to the news by industry website, and a search on the carrier’s online reservations system confirms that the A350 will operate on flights ET700 from Addis Ababa, and ET701 from London.

Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of its first A350 at the end of June, becoming the first African carrier to fly the new-generation wide-body aircraft.

The airline has a total of 14 A350s on order, configured with 30 Cloud Nine business class seats, and 318 economy seats.


Ethiopian’s B787 to serve Washington from September

Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, and will roster the B787 onto its Washington DC route from mid-September.

The carrier’s first Dreamliner is set to arrive in Addis Ababa tomorrow (Friday August 17), having been flown from its delivery ceremony in Seattle, via Washington.

As previously reported (see online news August 13) the aircraft will then embark on a Dream Tour of African cities, as well as destinations including Dubai, Mumbai, Rome, London and Frankfurt.

Once Ethiopian’s second B787 is received, the aircraft will then be deployed onto the carrier’s Washington Dc route from mid-September.

Ethiopian Airlines has a total of ten Dreamliners on order, and expects to take delivery of five of them by December this year.

For more information visit, and for our comprehensive guide to the Dreamliner, with details and images of current and forthcoming B787 operators, click here.

Report by Mark Caswell