Ethiopian Airlines will connect Los Angeles with Lomé, Togo, becoming the first nonstop flight between LAX and the African continent.
Last month I wrote about Ethiopian abandoning its Addis Ababa – Dublin – Los Angeles flight. Days after cancelling it, the carrier reinstated it, but with no possibility of booking flights between Dublin and Los Angeles on a stand-alone basis.
Rather than cede what had developed as an attractive Fifth Freedom route, Ethiopian will now fly nonstop between Los Angeles and Lomé, Togo, on Africa’s west coast. The flight will continue to/from Addis Ababa, but passengers will have the option to book only between Los Angeles and Lomé,. The new service will begin on December 17, 2018 and operate under the following schedule:
- Outbound from Addis Ababa
- ET504 – Addis Ababa (8:20 A.M.) to Lomé (11:10 A.M.)
- ET504 – Lomé (12:25 P.M.) to Los Angeles (7:35 P.M.)
- Inbound from Los Angeles
- ET505 – Los Angeles (9:35 P.M.) to Lomé (7:35 P.M.+1 day)
- ET505 – Lomé (8:50 P.M.+1 day) to Addis Ababa (5:40AM+2 day)
Ethiopian maintains a regional hub for its ASKY subsidiary out of Lomé and also uses the airport as a stop for its service to Brazil. The French-speaking county offers visas on arrivals for most citizens and a great springboard to visit the many nations that hug the coast of West Africa.
Expect Ethiopian to rejigger schedules out of Lomé to allow for a handful of connections to/from this new service to Los Angeles.
How is Ethiopian onboard?
I flew Ethiopian three times last year, including a marathon longhaul from Toronto to Addis Ababa. That flight time will be similar to that of Los Angeles to Lomé. I’d rate the Ethiopian business class seat as below average but service and food above average. Economy class appears to be solid.
While Addis is not the best airport to connect in, Ethiopian is constantly investing in it and making the experience better. Now Africa’s largest and most profitable airline, chances are Ethiopian will only get better.
I look forward to sampling this new flight and from there visiting a number of countries in the neighborhood. The Dublin to Los Angeles nonstop flight will be missed, but at least Aer Lingus still serves the route.
image: Ethiopian Airlines