In late January I wrote about some significant changes that Ethiopian Airlines was supposed to make to their US route network. The airline announced that as of summer 2019 they’d discontinue flights to Los Angeles, and would instead add flights to Houston.
The airline has been flying to Los Angeles since summer 2015, and just couldn’t make the flight work. First they operated the route via Dublin, and then recently they switched up the route to instead operate via Lome, Togo, but I guess even that didn’t help much.
So instead Ethiopian Airlines planned to fly to Houston, continuing their trend of primarily operating to North American destinations that are also Star Alliance hubs.
Originally Ethiopian Airlines was supposed to launch 3x weekly flights to Houston as of June 23, 2019. The flight went on sale as of early April, though by early May the airline pulled availability, making it seem like they were canceling the route before it even launched.
Well, this route is now back on the table, just about six months after originally scheduled. Ethiopian Airlines has now opened bookings for 3x weekly flights to Houston as of December 15, 2019, using a Boeing 787-8.
As before, the route is operating via Lome, Togo, in both directions, with the following schedule:
ET518 Addis Ababa to Lome departing 9:30PM arriving 12:05AM (+1 day)
ET518 Lome to Houston departing 1:15AM arriving 8:40AM
ET519 Houston to Lome departing 11:00AM arriving 5:00AM (+1 day)
ET519 Lome to Addis Ababa departing 6:00AM arriving 2:30PM
A flight between Addis Ababa and Lome covers a distance of ~2,600 miles, while a flight between Lome and Houston covers a distance of ~6,600 miles.
Ethiopian Airlines has pick-up rights in Lome, so you can fly just between Houston and Lome, if you’d like. While this route will be great for those looking to connect beyond Addis Ababa using Ethiopian Airlines’ big route network, it will also useful if you’re looking to connect in West Africa. ASKY has flights from Lome to many cities in the region, and they partner with Ethiopian Airlines.
This route will once again make Houston an airport with service to six continents (meanwhile Los Angeles lost that title when Ethiopian Airlines cut flights).
The route has plenty of award availability, in both economy and business class. So this is a fantastic option for getting from Houston to Africa with miles.
It’s exciting that Houston will once again have service to six continents. Hopefully this route actually sticks, unlike when they started putting flights on sale for travel starting in June.
Does anyone plan on taking Ethiopian Airlines’ flight to Houston?