Ethiopian Airlines to take passengers from Dublin to Los Angeles next year

Dublin Airport Authority welcomes news of year-round service

Ethiopian Airlines plans to operate Dublin to Los Angeles and Addis Ababa services from next summer after agreeing a deal with the Government allowing it to stop and collect passengers at the airport while en-route to the US city from Africa.

The airline, Africa’s biggest, confirmed yesterday that it would be operating the route between the three cities all year round from next summer and will be selling seats on both the Dublin to Los Angeles and Addis Ababa legs of the journey.

The announcement has been expected for some time. In July, it emerged that the Ethiopian government had agreed a deal with the Department of Transport giving the airline the right to fly into Dublin.

Year-round service

Shortly before that, its chief executive,


Tewolde Gebremariam

, had revealed that Ethiopian Airlines was planning to launch the service after getting approval from the Republic’s regulator.

Dublin Airport Authority yesterday welcomed the news, saying that the launch of the service meant it was getting two new year-round services as a result.

Chief executive Kevin Toland predicted that the new route would boost Dublin's position as a hub for transatlantic flights. "We are delighted to welcome Ethiopian Airlines to Ireland, " he said. "This new service will reconnect Dublin with Los Angeles and also brings unrivalled connectivity into Africa, as Ethiopian has the largest number of African destinations of any airline."

Announcing details of the service, Mr Gebremariam said that the airline plans to use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the route. He said the route would strengthen links among Ireland, Africa and the US. The Republic’s authorities have given Ethiopian Airlines so-called “fifth freedom” rights to fly the route. These allow non-EU and non-US airlines to collect passengers during stopovers here while en route to somewhere else.

Draft aviation policy

The Government’s recently-published draft aviation policy includes a pledge to grant more fifth-freedom rights at the Republic’s airports. The State has existing agreements with a number of non-EU, non-US countries, including





Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said: "California is a major market for Irish tourism and this new service to Los Angeles will help Ireland to continue to grow visitor numbers from the United States over the medium term."

When it first emerged that Ethiopian Airlines was planning to launch the service, Dáil deputy Clare Daly, who represents a constituency that is home to large numbers of Dublin Airport and Aer Lingus workers, said that US carriers operating out of Dublin would pull out.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas