Ethiopian Airlines will begin operating direct services to Australia within the next three to four years, says chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam.
An Addis Ababa-Sydney route is on Ethiopian’s “radar” and would allow the carrier to connect Australia with key markets in Africa, but will take some time to establish given logistical challenges, says the airline chief.
“That is long term. It is far away and very costly. Airlines have to be careful. We have to make enough of a market to justify the economics,” says Gebremariam.
When asked if the Boeing 787 or Airbus A350 could be used, Gebremariam responds: “I’m not sure. I think a 777.”
Ethiopian is also interested in opening routes to cities on the US West Coast, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, he adds.
New long-haul routes to be opened this year include Jakarta, Manila, Tokyo and Vienna.