Four Ethiopian Airlines 777s Visit New Orleans

Filed Under: Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines seems to be operating quite some interesting charter flights nowadays. A few days ago I wrote about how the airline operated two 777 flights from Miami to Addis Ababa, which isn’t a normal route for them.

This pales in comparison to the convoy they’re operating today.

Ethiopian Airlines’ four flights from New Orleans

Ethiopian Airlines is currently flying four of their six Boeing 777-200LRs nonstop from New Orleans to Addis Ababa.

All four planes are in the air right now, though they have quite some distance.

The way that all of these planes positioned to New Orleans sure is interesting:

  • ET-ANO flew from Addis Ababa to Stockholm to Oslo to Washington to New Orleans; the flight from Addis Ababa to Stockholm to Oslo was a regularly scheduled one, then the plane flew through Washington for a crew change
  • ET-ANP flew from Addis Ababa to Lome to New Orleans; I believe this was purely a repositioning flight, without any passengers
  • ET-ANQ flew from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt to Chicago to New Orleans; the flight from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt was a regularly scheduled one, then the plane flew through Chicago for a crew change
  • ET-ANR flew from Addis Ababa to Dublin to Washington to New Orleans; the flight from Addis Ababa to Dublin to Washington was a regularly scheduled one, then the plane had a crew change before continuing to New Orleans

Are the logistics of that fascinating, or what?! I’ve gotta give it to Ethiopian Airlines — they’re positioning these planes pretty efficiently, as three of the four planes operated scheduled flights to position to New Orleans.

Why is Ethiopian Airlines flying to New Orleans?

So, why are four Ethiopian Airlines 777s flying from New Orleans to Addis Ababa today? The airport confirms on Twitter that Ethiopian Airlines is carrying Carnival Cruise crew members back home, after ships docked in New Orleans, Galveston, and Mobile.

Since most crew members are from the Philippines, presumably there will be connecting charter flights from Addis Ababa to Manila.

This is exactly the same story as what happened in Miami with the Ethiopian Airlines planes.

When cruise lines initially stopped service, most cruise lines just left their crew members onboard, so that they could restart service ASAP (given that most crew members live on the opposite side of the globe). However, with it increasingly seeming like cruises won’t resume in the next couple of weeks, it would appear that they’re now sending many crew members home.

Ethiopian’s 777-200LRs each have the capacity for 315 passengers, so that means that up to 1,260 passengers can be carried on these charters.

Bottom line

Ethiopian Airlines sure is getting creative with the charter flights that they’re operating, which I assume is good for their business. They seem to be working closely with the cruise industry to get crew members back home.

Frankly I’m surprised that this is somehow the most practical charter option. You’d think there would be other much more efficient charter operations, given the positioning required for US airports, not to mention that most employees still have to get from Addis Ababa to Manila.

Surely it would be more profitable for US airlines to operate these charters flights than to operate virtually empty flights otherwise?

Am I the only one who finds all of these charter flights to be super interesting?

  1. “ Surely it would be more profitable for US airlines to operate these charters flights than to operate virtually empty flights otherwise?”

    I wonder if a US airline would’ve had trouble crewing flights full of cruise ship crews given that United FAs refused to fly with 100+ Australians from the Holland America ship that finally found a port this past week?

  2. Ethiopian really shows some remarkable utilization of aircraft. Should be a lesson for the future

  3. Assuming most of these crew members are returning to the Philippines, why isn’t PAL and/or CEB doing the charters to bring them home?

  4. In case of emergency and expected great efficiency no one is as good as and as reliable as Ethiopian pilots and crew members. The Ethiopian pilots are some of the Worlds best. That is why all those Chartered flights of the 777s. Even after that 737 disaster (design problem with the plane itself), when it was expected passengers decline, the opposite happened at the Ethiopian Hubs all over the World –increase of passengers overwhelmed expectations. There you have it; there is no substitute for excellence and Ethiopian has it. Thanks. Tecola

  5. Very Interesting! On March 22 flew two Ethiopian flights – CPT-ADD-CDG in Business as part of our four leg trek to get back home. Both flights were full. Excellent experience! Would definitely fly this airline again!

  6. Ethiopia Airlines should be thanked for for the service they providing to the world. Of course they are making money out of it but they are also taking high risk for their employees. Ethiopia Airlines, please keep your staffs safe and keep serving the world! You are a pride of Africa!

  7. Surly I wonder if that’s a safe thing to do for an airline which doesn’t quarantine any of it’s operating crew members after they got back home. Maybe they are making a ton of money off this endeavor but they are taking a possible infection back to a third world country which prizes itself for testing 60 people a day at Max capacity. Playing with fire if you ask me

  8. and why the hell is ET-AVN HKG-ADD takeing route north of Ukraine, where it’s right now? acc.

  9. Probably Ethiopian airlines is much cheaper then the us carriers I am sure a 777 ET crew make less money then us crew
    Is why cruise company choose ET

  10. mmm – seems like a disaster waiting to happen in the Philippines with all the cruiseline employees hitting Manila at once. The Philippines barely test anyone as they have such a poor health infrastructure combined with corrupt health politics mixed with utter disdain by officials for OFW workers. I guess Dutuerty Harry could just shoot them on arrival.

    I can tell you one thing for sure, they will not be quarantined at the Marriot or the Conrad hotels or anything remotely similiar.

  11. Hey davistev have you ever been to the Philippines? I live there and in the US and your comments are really offensive! I just came from the Philippines and they are doing what they can to stop the virus from spreading. Some ex-pats believe a better job than the US. Keep your ignorance off this blog please!

  12. Believe it or not,Ethiopian airlines is simply the best!
    Because it has a dedicated workforce.

  13. Ethiopian is building these charter flights around exiting service to USA and Europe where in some cases aircraft would sit around on the ground during the day. With reduced service to those destinations, it had built in these charters around its ground times, with stopovers at Addis Ababa and onward nonstop flights to Manila.

    There is more coming. Including more flights from Miami.

    Give me another airline that’s doing this.

  14. We fed 640 of the cruise ship workers on their way to the airport yesterday. They were all wearing masks and very polite and thankful. As were the bus drivers. The first 6 busses arrived around 2 pm and the last 4 at 6 pm. The last flights were leaving at 1130 pm.

  15. I am from New Orleans and I found these to be very interesting. While I was pleased that New Orleans was used, and it showed that New Orleans can handle 4 777’s, I was also curious as to why Carnival and Ethiopian did not position these planes out of Houston? I understand New Orleans is in the middle between Galveston and Mobile, but Ethiopian already serves Houston to Lome so they would have airline and ground staff that would be available. Also, Houston Bush Airport is a larger airport with a larger facility (and also, at this time New Orleans is one of the hotspots in the Covid-19 epidemic so one would think they would try and avoid hotspots).

    As you said, it was all very interesting

  16. Anyone with any ideas of how to get out of Nairobi back to Canada.? Or at least to Europe or the States. Looks like there are still flights out of Addis Adaba but an overland trip there from Kenya is dangerous.

    Have a friend stuck there. Any suggestions appreciated

  17. Ethiopian airline is getting a truoble from Boeing and USA by it self due to the accident happened last year. Trump and Steve munchin is ranting and trying to take a revange over Ethiopians by siding with Egyptians in Nile issue.

  18. They might be making efficient use of their fleet, but flying a very long-winded MSY-ADD-MNL? That’s hardly an efficient route!

  19. @Basil

    “Lufthansa and Emirate airlines are cheaper than The Ethiopian airlines.
    Wrong assumption.”

    On what knowledge of whole aircraft charter rates for these journeys do you base your comment?
    Hmmmm….. thought so.

  20. To Roy: Isn’t ET flying out of Nairobi to Addis? That’s a big route for them. What about a landtrip to Tanzania or Uganda, then flying from there to Add?

  21. It’s amazing, Ethiopian airline service is great , they have a lots of convenient non stop flight around the world . Specially from US to any African country.

  22. Ethiopian is still flying many scheduled flights and has not reduced routes or frequencies too much. It is therefore quite logical that ET is probably an airline still serving a wide network – beneficial for repatriation of people to various places.

  23. Ethiopian is still flying many scheduled flights and has not reduced routes or frequencies too much. It is therefore quite logical that ET is probably an airline still serving a wide network – beneficial for repatriation of people to various places.

  24. Couldn’t the cruise lines lease the A380 at a cheaper cost? Since most aren’t flying right now, wouldn’t it be better for them to operate ~2 Emirates A380’s (where the 2 class ones have 615 seats, thereby having almost the same capacity as 4 Ethiopian 777’s)? I too am curious about the economics of this.

  25. Ethiopian is simply the best among equals! It’s winning the heart and mind of travelers by utilizing original Ethiopian hospitality. Ethiopian is a reliable partner!

  26. Ethiopian is the best, getting people to their destination and uniting them with family and friends. It’s making money but also taking risks.

  27. @RJ, For Roy going to Canada. Am in Nairobi and all international flights were stopped a a few weeks ago. Lands trips not possible bcecause borders were closed. And Nairobi is on lockdown since last night.

  28. @Roy, have them take a bus to DAR, TZ. ET is still flying from there to ADD and onwards to HOU, IAD among other US points..

  29. Thank you Fred and Jafa for advice and info. I was up to date on lock downs. Was looking for an irregular way out of Kenya I suppose. My friend is older with health concerns. If he contracts the virus he would not do well.

    This morning I hear from a mutual friend that he messaged that he has found a way. I dont know if it means getting to Addis as I was suggesting or another route. I do know he has a booked and paid flight out of Amsterdam in 2 weeks if he can make his way there.

    When I hear I will share the news.

    Thank you everyone

  30. Ethiopian airlines is the best airlines,we should give a respect to the company ,not only passenger service he is giving also cargo service and humanitarian aid.
    Thank ethiopian airlines for the great jobs you are doing.

  31. Hi @Roy keep up with US, Canadian, German and British Embassies, A group of us were was stuck in Nairobi and Happen to get out on some of the Charter flights, I got out on BA on 3/29 and Others got out on the Lufthansa flight from Mombasa in 4/3. Register with them they will inform you whenever they is a flight out of Kenya.

  32. You may think this is a good thing operating this routes but they are risking their crew life with this epidemic diseases and they don’t now if they are negative or positive

  33. Ethiopian is one of the true greats in aviation history.
    No nonsense, brave crews and great aircraft.
    US airlines and crews could not light a candle to Ethiopian.
    In open competition they would bankrupt us in a heartbeat.
    Can we really compete in an open market ?

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