Ethiopian Airlines Eyes June Launch for Manila Route

After postponing its original plan to begin flights to Manila in July 2013, Ethiopian Airlines has once again set a target launch date for service to the Philippines. The Ethiopian flag carrier plans to begin service to Manila on June 27 with three weekly flights to its hub in Addis Ababa via Bangkok. It will be the only direct link between the Philippines and Africa.
Image Source: Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines will be operating its Manila service with a Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Flights will depart Addis Ababa at 12:40am with a brief one hour and ten minute stopover in Bangkok, eventually arriving in Manila at 7:00pm. The return flight will depart Manila at 10:00pm and arrive in Addis Ababa the following day at 6:30am after a similar stop over in Bangkok.
The Star Alliance carrier was originally planning to serve Manila with a Boeing 767 with flights routing through Hong Kong. Although flights are now currently routing through Bangkok, Ethiopian Airlines does not currently have local traffic rights to carry passengers between Bangkok and Manila.
Manila won't be the only new destination in Asia for the carrier. Ethiopian is also planning to create the only direct link between Africa and Japan when it launches three weekly flights to Tokyo's Narita Airport in April. The new flights will be operated in a code-share partnership with fellow Star Alliance carrier, All Nippon Airways.
Ethiopian Airlines was the third airline in the world to own and operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The carrier currently has ten 787 aircraft in the fleet, making it the largest Dreamliner operator in Africa. 
According to Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, the 787 aircraft boast full flat seats in business class and the latest in-flight entertainment. "It is our core fleet and very popular among our customers. We have more load factor on the routes we operate Dreamliners," said Tewolde.
Ethiopian Airlines currently flies to 84 destinations across five continents with 50 of those destinations in Africa. In addition to Manila and Tokyo, the carrier plans to launch service to Dublin and Los Angeles later this year. Ethiopian is often rated as one of the top carriers in the region and is presently ranked the largest and most profitable airline in Africa.

44 comments:

  1. Star Alliance ramping up in MNL...nice!

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    1. Could this mean PAL has a chance at ever getting in? PAL really needs to get into an alliance. I think Oneworld rejected them before, so Star would probably be their best option.

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    2. Star's superstars (United,Lufthansa,Air Canada) will never let PAL join their alliance unless PAL sells its airline business to one of them!

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    3. Star Alliance is already heavily saturated in the region; EVA, ANA, Singapore, and Asiana.

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  2. Cool!!!! Another Star Alliance connecting flight to go to Philippines via Bangkok. There were only limited Star Alliance or One world connecting flights via Bangkok from LA or SFO. Maybe good to try flying on Thai Airways from LA to Bangkok then Ethiopian Airways from Bangkok to MNL. I heard that Thai Airways service is way better than PAL.

    Another competition, more options! Very nice!!!!

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    1. And Thai food too...... sure thing will love it in Thai Airways!!

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  3. "..Ethiopian Airlines does not currently have local traffic rights to carry passengers between Bangkok and Manila."

    -Can someone please explain this?

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    1. 5th freedom agreement between Ethiopia and Thailand is needed to transport passengers from Addis Ababa to Bangkok using Manila bound plane and Bangkok to Manila and vice versa.

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    2. It says it will start in July. So we'll see then. There's a lot of on-line sites to book a flight. We can also call star alliance carriers when booking flights and by that time we'll be able to tell if they can connect to Ethopian airlines via bangkok going to mnl. That's what i always been doing.

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  4. Does that mean we can't go to Bangkok (not continuing on to Addis Ababa) from Manila with Ethiopian?

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    1. Airlines partners can tell. To be sure we have to wait until July when it starts. In most cases partner airlines with code sharing can connect flights. In addition even if today they don't have it, it doesn't mean they won't have it in the future. Thailand is one of the busiest destination in the world. I would be surprised if they open flights between ethiopia and MNL but not in Thailand? Also it wont be economical for Ethiopoan airways to have that flight just for ethiopia and manila. Then why do they need to layover to bangkok? Just for fueling? It doesn't make any sense. I believe they have purpose why they need to stop over in bangkok. Obviously they can get more passengers if they allowed travelling between ethiopia and thailand or between thailand and manila. Otherwise they will loose their opportunities and later on, will not fly anymore between ethiopia and manila because of few number of passengers. Makes sense?

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    2. Please read all contents in the article. The date is specified June 27, 2015

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    3. Another reason why flying via Bangkok is, that all airlines departing in the Philippines must pay taxes depending on the miles flying out from the Philippines. The Philippines is the only country which makes that! That means: As longer the flight as more taxes have to be paid! Recently also KLM made the stopover in Taiwan. And even if it can't take so many passengers with them from MNL to TPE, it is cheaper for them - because of the high philippine taxes.

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  5. It's just one flight for passengers from Addis Ababa going to both Manila and Bangkok. Ethiopia cannot pick up passengers from Bangkok going to Manila or passengers from Manila going to Bangkok.

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  6. Ethiopia is one of three countries in the world owns Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This aircraft is the latest and sophisticated airplane with light body and wide windows.

    You would love the food in Ethiopian airline and friendly customer services by flighy attendants. Go for it.

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    1. There is no way this is true! One of the 3 counties that operates 787? Japan, Australia, China, Qatar, Canada, US, UK, India... the long list continues... Probably what you mean is first in Africa to have a B787...

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    2. I went to tel aviv via ethiopean airlines.its a nice airline.very attentive attendants comparable to singapore airline girls.

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    3. A lot of airlines are either operating or have placed orders for B787 Dreamliner. I took the Boeing Tour in Seattle recently and I have seen a list of Boeing customers to date. I've also seen beautiful tail logos of various airlines and Air India struck me most....LAN Chile is also eye-catching.

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  7. Folks, before you talk, please refer to your world map! Ethiopian Air based in Addis Ababa (eastern part of the African continent) flies only to Europe at this time (but has plans to codeshare with Aer Lingus of Ireland to connect with Los Angeles and San Francisco). So for those who are saying that Ethiopian flies from LAX or SFO to Manila via Bangkok does not make sense. Why? Because it is better and shorter to cross the Pacific Ocean to reach Manila from USA. This has been going on since day one when jet planes started to fly commercial. Even if Aer Lingus providing services from USA to Europe to connect passengers to Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa and Bangkok to Manila is a very very, long and can be expensive and torturing flight because you are crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and Africa and the Indian Ocean to Bangkok and Manila. That is a suicide! It really make sense if you fly Ethiopian to the wide African continent (from Manila) because Ethiopian is their superstar airline there!
    Entendido?

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    1. And you can also ask from your own PAL if it really crosses the Pacific Ocean for every flight that it operates to the U. S. of A and even Canada or even Mexico and South America.... Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, I'm having a heart attack...........................................................

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    2. Where else would you expect the plane to cross if not over the Pacific Ocean? Although the plane's flight path do not follow a straight line route from Manila to let's say LA, it still flies over the Pacific Ocean near Japan. Alaska, British Columbia in Canada and west coast of the US... and note PAL does not fly to Mexico and South America.

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    3. yes, yes it does

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    4. PAL does not fly to Mexico or any South American countries. But if PAL wants to serve Mexico City, it has to sign (thru RP government) a bilateral air agreement with the Mexican government. Remember, Aero Mexico is the fastest growing airline south of the U.S. as wealthy Asian countries are penetrating the business market of Mexico and its neighbors to the south. It is the 2nd thickly populated country in Latin America and it has its black gold or crude oil or "crudo" like the one you see in the Middle East!

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  8. For those who are so interested with Thai Airways, it is an expensive but efficient airline to fly with. For your info, Thai does not usually advertise low air fares from North America. The Thais are very loyal to their airline (similar to the loyalty they show their royalty/king/queen). You can fly LAX/SFO to Manila via Bangkok but it does not make sense because you are going farther as Manila is closer to LAX/SFO. Speaking of discounted air fares, USA to Manila is like an "air fare war zone" for all airlines serving the route. Why? Because most passengers going to Manila can find incredible low fares from Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian carriers! It's so exciting to watch the rat race among airlines! Cebu Pacific, welcome to the fray......!

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    1. Incredible low fares with Singapore Airlines? Besides it's stupid to catch a SQ flight frim Manila to the US. 3 stopovers!!! Manila-Singapore-Tokyo, Seoul or Frankfurt-United States! That's crazy! Correction.. MH discontinued its LA flights while Garuda does not fly to the US and Manila.

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    2. Flying to US via singapore or thailand is just a waste of time.i really dont want a flight that require backtracking or circuitous journey.

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    3. Correction: SQ flies Manila/Hongkong/San Francisco. I do not fly Manila/Singapore/fFrankfurt/New York/San Francisco on Singapore Air because it is too long and expensive.
      You can also fly Manila/Singapore/Tokyo/Los Angeles if you want to add one more stop.
      I am from California and I regularly fly SQ because of very, very nice obvious reasons!

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  9. It is not a waste of time for me! Here is why. I'm not trying to fly from US to MNL using Ethiopian Airways, because this article is between Ethiopian and MNL via Bankgkok. I'm trying to grab that flight from Bangkok to MNL as as Star Aliance member if possible. I am a member of both Start Aliance and Oneworld. Last December I had to fly from LA to MNL using my Star miles. When I called United Airlines to book my flight as a Star member, there were only limited flights, but there were available seats from Thai Airways from LA to Bangkok, the problem was, United cannot find a seat to connect from Bangkok to MNL because there were only limited Start Aliance network going to MNL from Thailand. Then my best option was not to use Start Miles. Good thing is I still have available miles in my Oneworld. I called American Airlines and they were able to book me from LA to MNL via Japan through Japan Airlines. So it's even better because it's Japan Airlines service. You know how it is.

    You know how the miles work if you would like to use it to fly, You have to book at least 6 months and sometimes a year ahead of time to get the "most" comfortable flight. But in my busy schedule I cannot do that. Most of the time I have to make decision to fly within 2 months and sometimes in weeks only. I know that the fly from LA to MNL via Thailand is not the shortest flight. But I would use that if that is one of the available options just to use my miles, rather then paying my airfare. See my point? So it is not a waste of time for me. And for those who's thinking flying from US to MNL via Ethiopian airlines all the way, that was not the point. The point is to to connect flights like Bangkok going to MNL via Ethiopian Airways to use the possible connecting flights as a Star Alliance member.

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    1. Id rather pay high on direct flight than waisting my time on connection.

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    2. We got your point clear, businessman! Gone are the days (circa early 80s) when 90% of European carriers serve Bangkok and Manila "freely" meaning 5th freedom rights or anyone who has money can board a carrier heading to Manila from BKK, e.g., Egyptair, Pakistan Air, LH, AF, Alitalia, Kuwait Air, KLM, Sabena, etc. I remember it very well because when I go home to Manila from the Middle East, I usually stop in BKK and have my personal R & R (anything imaginable for a normal bachelor guy who has been in a "corral" for a year!) Now, no more, because the Vietnam conflict has ended, the Philippine government tighthened its regulations on 5th freedom rights for the sake of its state airline PAL, etc. The best way for you to obtain your Star Alliance miles is to fly Asiana via Inchon or Singapore Air via Singapore. Good luck!

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  10. Connecting flights are actually fun. Sometimes the airline will provide a free city tour while waiting for the next flight. Sometimes it will be just enough time to stretch a leg or break the boredom after a long hours of travel.

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    1. But of course, Charlie! My big sister (70 years old) was an avid PAL flier for the rest of her 30 working years in USA. Two years ago, we forced her to fly KE to Manila via Inchon! Good result: She has been addicted to shopping at Inchon's airport, joining the local tour arranged by the airport authority, and even buying duty free dried seafood and seaweedl Now, she only flies with Korean Air's A380 or Asiana's A380. We now call her A380 "addict". We hope she can still find a Korean boyfriend!!!!!!!!!

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    2. true, it was fun to have connecting flights specially for using oneworld miles. not a waste of time truly. it requires 70,000 miles between US and manila (two-way per passenger). our whole family (4 passengers) went to philippines via japan boarded in american airlines flight. one world allowed us to layover not greater than 24 hours in our connecting flight to japan. i requested the longest gap (whole day actually). since US citizens do not require visa to enter to japan, we just exit the airport exploring japan's train system and went to tokyo sky tree, then ate to a nice restaurant and watch some shows then go back to airport again for our night red-eye flight going back to US. that's the advantage of having connecting flights using miles. your traveling using miles then in between you can have a tour. It was fun, not a waste of time! saved a lot of money as you don't need to pay airfare, and at the same time your having your family tour.

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  11. And if you want to forego the Bangkok connection to Manila, you may fly Eva Air (a four star airline) from LAX to Manila via Taipei, or Asiana LAX/Inchon (A380) to Manila (A300). Or SQ from SFO to Hongkong to Manila. These latter two are 5-star airlines and are Star Alliance members....

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  12. This is good news for all air travelers. The more players the better for everybody as the airlines will outdo each other in lowering their airfares to protect their market share and improve their performance through their good service. Lower airfares will benefit the air travelers.

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  13. Yes, sir! That is why we are waiting for United, Air Canada and American Airlines to initiate their non-stop flights to Manila in order to compete with PAL. We also await Cebu Pacific's March, 2015 initial flight to North America. What a healthy, rat race competition we will be seeing very soon! But of course, if you do not mind making connections in Seoul, Hongkong, Taipei, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Guam, you can stick to your favorite perennial carrier to your Manila destination, how is that?

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  14. It will be awesome to visit all those lovely Asian cities especially if the air fare of these wonderful Asian airlines will be competitively lower as they are now. It is a great time to fly thanks to open market competition. Yes to all the airlines in the world wanting to set shop in the Philippines. Yes to Ethiopian Airlines

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    1. And a terribly-bored FilAm retiree doing nothing in this "boring" capitalistic country may be able to fly home to RP twice or thrice a year when air fares become competitive so I now daydream as if I will be flying Southwest, Spirit and JetBlue to another country because of their no frills air fares and other services. I also hope to maximize my travel and leisure ambitions from this onslaught of international airlines planning to fly to RP! In other words, you cannot bring your green money onto your grave, therefore utilize or spend them all before you die! Right?

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    2. Well, why not? Fly as much and enjoy every day as it would be your last day! You can't take your money with you onto your grave! I really enjoy flying, but I prefer "real" airlines (TK, SQ, EK, OZ, QR,...). Stopovers are nice for walking around, using lounges and eating and drinking, maybe also taking a shower or sightseing like in Seoul or Singapore during the stopover. And sitting in an airplane like inside a tunafish box - like few low cost carriers like Cebu Pacific and PR - for a longer trip??? No thank you! I really hope for the 5th freedom rights for ET between MNL and BKK! For me it would be also very nice HKG-MNL served by a Star Alliance carrier. Actually I am a Premier Elite member at PR, but the service is very bad there, specially if you transit through Manila during the night or if you have a stopover longer than 12 hours - then problems to check the luggage through. And special greetings at your seat - like they do it at EK for their premium members: no!

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    3. I forgot to tell, that I would prefer Ethiopian would serve - if getting the freedom rights - ADD - PNH - MNL, because there is still no direct flight from any carrier between those capitals! But I know, biggest problem are the Philippines, who don't want to give the 5th freedom rights! TK was "fighting" for more than 10 years to get any rights to fly to Manila, because maybe they didn't want to pay black money to some politicians there!

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  15. Latest news from airlineroute.net, this flight will now be operate by Boeing 767-300, instead of Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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  16. Any new aviation trends? Your latest trend is 16 days ago.

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  17. when pal start flying the route ams-bangkok-manila

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  18. when we can start from europe to manila

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