Ethiopian Airlines has succeeded in gaining fifth-freedom rights between Dublin and Madrid effective June 2.
Although the Addis Ababa-based airline has not confirmed the news to Business Traveller, readers visiting its website will see that Dublin-Madrid flights are now on sale.
This route exists as an extension of Ethiopian Airlines’ existing service linking Addis Ababa to Dublin.
Flights operate with B787-8s four days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, as follows:
- ET713 Dublin-Madrid departs 1745, arrives 2130
- ET712 Madrid-Dublin departs 0615, arrives 0755
Clearly these schedules will not be convenient for everyone but they do provide another option to Aer Lingus and Ryanair who both ply this route.
For this reason fifth-freedom carriers invariably price keenly.
And this Ethiopian Airlines link is no exception.
At the beginning of June, for example, it was selling economy tickets at prices from €54 with business class priced from €220. Fares may be higher at other times or on other days of the week.
The economy prices must necessarily be low seeing as Ryanair is a rival on the route.
However I can see cases where travellers might book one-way with Ethiopian and a one-way with either Aer Lingus or Ryanair.
Ethiopian Airlines is no stranger to fifth-freedom traffic from and to Ireland.
Readers may remember it previously held such rights for Dublin-Los Angeles which it sold at bargain rates until the route was axed.