Irish tourism chiefs have welcomed the announcement that Africa’s biggest airline is to launch a new year round Dublin to Los Angeles service next summer.
Ethiopian Airlines will also offer a service from Dublin to Addis Ababa as part of its new ‘fifth freedom’ rights deal with the Irish government
Ireland’s Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has welcomed the news that the Dublin-Los Angeles route, once operated by Aer Lingus, is to resume.
He said: “California is a major market for Irish tourism and this new service to Los Angeles will help Ireland to continue to grow visitor numbers from the United States over the medium term.”
The new agreement allows Africa’s biggest carrier to stop and collect passengers at Dublin airport while en-route to the US city from Africa.
The Irish Times reports that Ethiopian Airlines will operate the route between the three cities all year round from next summer and sell seats on both the Dublin to Los Angeles and Addis Ababa legs of the journey.
News of the deal first emerged in July when the Ethiopian government announced that it had agreed a deal with the Department of Transport giving the airline the right to fly into Dublin.
The Dublin Airport Authority also welcomed the news and told the Irish Times that the launch of the service meant it was getting two new year-round services as a result.
Chief executive Kevin Toland said: “The new route will boost Dublin’s position as a hub for transatlantic flights. We are delighted to welcome Ethiopian Airlines to Ireland.
“This new service will reconnect Dublin with Los Angeles and also brings unrivalled connectivity into Africa, as Ethiopian has the largest number of African destinations of any airline.”
Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, confirmed that his airline will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the route.
He said: “The new route will strengthen links among Ireland, Africa and the US.”