Ethiopian Airlines Launches Flights To Zürich

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Ethiopian Airlines Launches Boeing 787 Dreamliner Flights To Zürich

It is Ethiopian’s 16th passenger destination in Europe.

Ethiopian Airlines now serves Zürich, the Swiss city and important Star Alliance hub. It follows Ethiopian’s launch of Amman, and it comes as the airline introduces Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe, and begins Manchester via Geneva rather than via Brussels, part of various other European changes.

Ethiopian starts Zürich

On October 31st, Ethiopian inaugurated its 16th European passenger destination: Zürich. It routes via Milan Malpensa in both directions and covers 3,219 miles (5,180km), with the Milan and Zürich leg just 127 miles (204km). Unlike Air Canada on new Heathrow to Mumbai, it doesn’t have fifth freedom traffic rights.

Running on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the route is scheduled as follows, with all times local:

  • Addis Ababa to Milan Malpensa: ET736, 00:15-04:50 
  • Milan Malpensa to Zürich: ET736, 05:50-07:00 
  • Zürich to Milan Malpensa: ET737, 20:45-21:55 
  • Milan Malpensa to Addis Ababa: ET737, 22:55-07:30+1 

It is served by 315-seat 787-9s, with 30 seats in business and 285 in economy. The route’s first flight was operated by 2.6-year-old ET-AXS, delivered to the Star Alliance carrier in that fateful of months, March 2020.

All day in Switzerland

You’ll see from the above schedule that the operating aircraft remains in Zürich for 13h 45m. It is, of course, not a great use of aircraft, but it is done for one reason: to enable two-way connectivity across Africa, driving passengers, freight, and revenue. It’s the same for the vast majority of Ethiopian’s Europe flights.

Indeed, if it were to leave soon after arriving in Switzerland, it’d have few onward connections over its Addis Ababa hub. It’d be significantly reliant on Addis Ababa-Zürich point-to-point demand, which is low, at about 12,000 in 2019. It’d also rely more on Star Alliance flights to/from Ethiopia over SWISS’ hub. It’d therefore be even costlier than remaining on the ground for most of the day.

It is about targeting Africa

Ethiopian’s timings enable Zürich to/from sub-Saharan Africa to be targeted, a market of around 169,000 passengers, excluding those who flew nonstop as they’d be less likely to switch to a two-stop option. Booking data indicates that Cape Town, Johannesburg, Windhoek, Seychelles, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, and Accra were among the largest markets.

Zürich’s arrival at 07:30 connects to more than 50 international sub-Saharan African cities. They then arrive back mid to late evening, enabling passengers and freight to leave for Switzerland at 00:15.

If traveling to/from the Kenyan seaside city of Mombasa, gateway to many beach resorts, you’d arrive in Addis Ababa at 07:30 and leave at 09:00. Returning, you’d depart Mombasa at 18:50 and arrive in Ethiopia at 21:10, connecting to Switzerland at 00:15. Or Ghana’s capital, Accra: leaving Addis Ababa at 08:40 and returning at 21:00.

Where else would you like Ethiopian to serve in Europe with its own metal? Let us know in the comments.

  • Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-ARFEthiopian AirlinesIATA/ICAO Code:ET/ETHAirline Type:Full Service CarrierHub(s):Addis Ababa Bole International AirportYear Founded:1945Alliance:Star AllianceCEO:Mesfin Tasew BekeleCountry:Ethiopia

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