African carrier Ethiopian Airlines is to resume flights to the Greater New York market with a three times weekly link into Newark Liberty International Airport from July this year rather than serving John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as first outlined earlier this year. The switch of US airports for the long-haul connection from Addis Ababa via Lomé in Togo, is a logical move and will allow the carrier to take advantage of the significant hub operation of Star Alliance partner, United Airlines at Newark.
Ethiopian Airlines first revealed its intention to return to New York in January 2016 and immediately uploaded schedules to serve JFK. However, this week our Airline Route blog has revealed that the inventory has now been updated and subject to government approval will operate to and from Newark instead. The first flight is scheduled to take place on July 3, 2016.
The initial update shows a Newark operation for the full summer schedule, although its winter 2016/2017 offering was still displaying as a JFK operation as this article as uploaded. It is expected that this will be updated to a Newark service in the future.
“New York is one of the world's most economically powerful cities and including it in our ever expanding network will play a critical role in the expansion of trade, tourism and investment between the fast growing continent of Africa and the United States,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer, Ethiopian Airlines Group.
It is 12 years since Ethiopian Airlines last served the New York market having closed its previous Newark link in 2004 to instead focus on its services between Addis Ababa and Washington. It now feels that with its expanded offering in Africa and the success of last year’s launch to Los Angeles via Dublin that it can sustainably support this new route, which will be operated using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
The airline has based this launch on important transfer connectivity across Africa, whether that is via its main operational hub at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa or via its west African operation at Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport in Lomé, served both under the Ethiopian Airlines brand and that of its regional operation ASKY Airlines.
Alongside the local traffic, there will be strong connectivity opportunities via Addis Ababa into East, Southern and Central Africa and the Middle East, including destinations such as Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Khartoum, Jeddah, and Riyadh. The additional stop in Lomé also offers efficient connections to/from Lagos, Abidjan, Dakar, Libreville, Douala, N’djamena, Kinshasa, Bamako, Conakry, Ouagadougou, and Niamey.
The recent arrival of new Boeing 787 equipment has enabled Ethiopian Airlines to retire many of its older equipment and next month will likely see the retirement of the 757-200 from its passenger fleet. Further new widebodied equipment will arrive in the form of the Airbus A350XWB. The aircraft is preliminary scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of this year, initially operating the Addis Ababa – Abuja route from July 1, 2016, according to latest information from intelligence provider, OAG.
Ethiopian Airlines is currently celebrating 70 years of scheduled operation in Africa and now connects 51 cities across the Continent with the major trading centres of the world with a network of more than 240 flights per day. Alongside enhancing connectivity it has grown through a sustainable business model that has elevated it to one of the strongest and most profitable airlines in Africa.
“Seventy years is a long time, but Ethiopian is still young, strong, forward looking and ready to contribute its own share of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena in line with the African Union agenda 2063,” said Gebremariam.
“The billions of dollars we invested in our modern fleet, aviation infrastructure, human resource development and operating systems are a testimony that shows Ethiopian is positioned in a solid foundation to scale up the growth in its Vision 2025,” he added.