Ethiopian Airlines starts flights to Kuala Lumpur

30 Aug 2012

Ethiopian Airlines will begin flying between Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur via Bangkok from October 31 this year and plans to use a Dreamliner for this service, as well as for its flight to Guangzhou. 

Flight ET618 will take off from Addis Ababa on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 0025, landing in Bangkok at 1320 and leaving at 1430 to arrive in the Malaysian capital at 1900. The return leg will leave Kuala Lumpur on the same day at 2150, arriving in Addis Ababa at 0750 the next morning.  

The airline planned to at first use a 767 aircraft and introduce a Dreamliner 787 once more of them had arrived. It said there has been a steady increase in demand for travel on this route. 

“Trade and travel to this booming South East Asian country from Africa has been increasing for the past few years,” said a spokesperson for the airline. “Ethiopian Airlines’ flight to Kuala Lumpur will help to connect the extensive Malaysian businesses to Africa.”

Trade between Malaysia and Ethiopia has doubled in the past decade and last year trade volume between the two countries totalled US$83.7 million, according to an article by the Ethiopian business portal Ethiopia is a big importer of palm oil from Malaysia, while Asian oil giant Petronas has operations in Ethiopia.

The airline also said it aims for Kuala Lumpur to serve as a hub from which passengers arriving from African destinations can connect to other Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore (see story here) and Indonesia.

Ethiopian Airlines also confirmed it plans to introduce a Dreamliner 787 on flights between Addis Ababa and Guangzhou once it receives delivery of its second new aircraft. 

Business travelers and corporate travelers [between Ethiopia and Guangzhou] are growing by the year,” the spokesperson said. 

More broadly, the airline is looking to increase its connections between Ethiopia and different major Asian cities in the future. 

Asia is one of the important destinations for Ethiopian,” the spokesperson said. “We are constantly exploring new routes and adjusting frequencies on existing destinations. One of the destinations planned for the short term is Chongqing. Ethiopian is also planning to fly to Vietnam in the future.”

For more information, visit

Nicholas Olczak 

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