45 years after Ethiopia’s national carrier started serving London, the airline is rapidly expanding its horizons and today sets its sights on a second UK destination: Manchester.
The new Manchester-Addis Ababa service (set to begin on December 1st 2018) will operate four times weekly using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in a two-class layout, initially as an extension from the Belgian capital of Brussels.
The flight will depart Addis Ababa at 0045, arriving Manchester at 0655 (via Brussels). It will then depart Manchester at 1900, arriving in the Ethiopian capital the next day at 0600am. The times will optimise connections to South and sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopian, Africa’s largest airline by passenger traffic, has developed a network that links 67 major global cities with almost 60 African destinations via its hub in Addis Ababa. About 400,000 people living within a two-hour drive of Manchester currently travel to Africa each year, Manchester Airport states, with the ‘gateway to the North’ drawing on a catchment area including the major cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. The new route will provide an important new business link for the North of England, with sub-Saharan Africa – months after MAG’s previous successes in securing Northern England’s first non-stop flights to Muscat, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Manchester Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan, said:
“The introduction of this route underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting the people and businesses of the North to the world’s most important markets. While we have served a number of African holiday destinations for many years, this service will provide vital connectivity to one of the continent’s most important hub airports. That will unlock dozens more destinations across Africa through Ethiopian Airlines’ unrivalled network.”
The strategy of linking a new destination onto an existing route is a ‘tried and tested’ formula for Ethiopian to test the demand of a new market but CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, has suggested that direct flights could begin as early as next year if the route is a success. He also believes the route will boost tourism, with great ‘socio-economic’ benefits and says that Brexit will not affect demand.
Return fares on the route will start at £499 in Economy Class and £1299 in Business Class for the whole route between Manchester and Ethiopia. You can book flights here!
Do you have any thoughts on the new route from Manchester to Addis Ababa? Contact me I’ll answer any questions you have.