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Ethiopian Airlines drops flights from Dublin to Los Angeles

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Ethiopian Airlines is dropping Dublin to Los Angeles.

Ethiopian Airlines, however improbable it may sound, is a member of the Star Alliance network.  Based in Addis Ababa, it serves over 80 destinations – more African destinations than any other carrier – and is profitable.  Just as impressively, it was Boeing’s first customer for the 787-8 Dreamliner and was also be one of the first airlines to receive the Airbus A350.

Ethiopian 787

In June 2015, it launched Los Angeles using a Boeing 787-8.  Because of the distance involved, the aircraft made a stopover in Dublin.  This made for a very interesting Star Alliance redemption between Dublin and Los Angeles.

Unfortunately the route does not appear to have worked out.  Services are due to end on 14th December.  Irish residents can still fly to Los Angeles directly courtesy of the new Aer Lingus service.

Comments (151)

  • Shoestring says:
    Now you can search and buy train tickets for any UK route with the Skyscanner app. Get £4 off tickets using code SKYTRAIN.

    Download the app. It’s 2x £2 off any tickets over £5

    Plus VCUKSKY3 gives £3 off any ticket over £20.

    • ant says:

      Hi i have just tried this on the skyscanner app but i cannot see where to put in the code. The tickets are £5.40 each so should be eligible.

      Am I missing something? I went all the way through to Step 3 – book.


  • Bob says:

    And small ACMI carrier such as Cello aviation has been bankrupted too.

    At least those carriers are not in charge of selling the flights.
    But this happens so early this year in this not yet winter timetable season.

  • callum says:

    Why does it sound very improbable that Ethiopian Airlines would be in the Star Alliance?

    • Shoestring says:

      Yep I wouldn’t exactly go there for a holiday (no sea, for one! 🙂 ) but Ethiopia isn’t exactly Somalia (or Eritrea). A lot more stable/ back to democracy these days.

    • Marcw says:

      Sometimes Rob writes this kind of nonsense. It’s a good airline to visit east Africa.

      • Chris says:

        Not really sure that there’s anything surprising about Ethiopian being in Star Alliance.

        In my experience, it’s a materially better experience in business class than plenty of other Star Alliance carriers – I’d take them over Air China, South African, EgyptAir or even United any day of the week!!

        Unless of course your reference is to Ethiopia itself…but I’m sure that you wouldn’t lay bare prejudice like that.

        • John says:

          lol WTF at “difficult to get anything more exotic than China past her at the moment.”

          My best friend’s wife is Ethiopian, so Europe and the US are exotic to her. Comments like these from “people over 40” are why she never felt comfortable living in the UK.

          If anyone wants to get a feel for Ethiopia as a tourist, check out DanielW’s Flyertalk trip report:

        • Catalan says:

          So seemingly airlines like TAROM and LOT from basket case, poverty stricken, former Eastern Bloc countries have a less improbable reason for being in Star Alliance?

          FYI Ethiopian airlines operated DUB-LAX as a fifth freedom route granted by the Irish government prior to Aer Lingus restarting its own operation. It would therefore make sense for the Irish government to withdraw this right from Ethiopian now that it is a competing carrier.

          • Rob says:

            I don’t think you can compare the state of Poland in 1986 to the state of Ethiopia in 1986. My Mrs grew up in East Germany and mass starvation, drought and famine were not key factors in her childhood.

      • Callum says:

        Yeah I’ve seen similar things a few times. If it was said by a stranger I’d assume it was racism but in Rob’s case I don’t doubt for a second it’s just old school ignorance. He does seem to be reveling in his self-described “grumpy old man” stage nowadays!

        I’m very curious how well traveled he is. I don’t get the impression he actually travels much at all (and even then it’s more a case of finding a nice hotel and staying there!), but that could be a recent thing what with having a young family.

        • Shoestring says:

          You can easily be well-travelled when you’re younger – then lapse into with-kids easy destinations while they’re growing up.

          That’s where we are. I guess my place in the sun (bought it for cash when I was 36) is not so different to Raffles’ Dubai hols in a hotel with sun, pool + decent food. Easy choice.

          Can’t wait until the chimps go off to university. Hello again Thailand etc

        • Rob says:

          Got the kids and a working wife …. difficult to get anything more exotic than China past her at the moment. Normal service will resume in 10 years ….

        • Hannah-Lucy says:


          Completely agree, but his statement is nonetheless offensive and borderline racist – regardless of “old school ignorance” as he alludes that one may suspect it’s improbable for an African airline to be a member of Star Alliance. Oh the “privilege” in his tone.

          I also don’t know how well travelled he is – I bet he’s never even been to the African continent!! Perhaps Egypt or Morocco at best, but that has a very Western Arabic influence – such as Dubai or Qatar, and doesn’t embody (in my opinion) the real heart of East or West Africa in particular.

        • Craig says:

          Ah kids, the first 21 years are the worst!

        • James says:

          OMG rascim is everywhere these days. He wants 2 wind his neck in a bit. Becoming a bit chaavvy in ere lately.

        • Yesyes says:

          This is why we in the NHS are focus recruiting on BME. We have 25 apprenticeship nurse positions exclusively for BME – so fully funded training plus we are really pushing for more senior BME in band 7 and above. We have set up a BME association at uclh which seems to be helping. We do needs more positive discrimination to allow people like Rob to meet. More Africans to prove these are not people that require aid of the west helping hand. We. Are standing on our own and will rise above!

    • Rob says:

      Because for most people in the UK over 40 Ethiopia still has the image of a poverty stricken hole which would not be dropping $5 billion on the worlds most efficient airliners. Obviously it isn’t but that is still the general image.

      I’ve spent about 40 days in Africa I think …. not sure if that counts as a lot or not by average standards.

      • Hannah-Lucy says:

        “Poverty stricken hole”?!?! Show some decorum! You’re digging yourself in the foot more to still think it’s acceptable to refer to a country like that REGARDLESS of being over 40 and seeing the BS propaganda sold to you in aid advertisements. Ignorance is bliss.

        • Anna says:

          Terminology and mixed metaphors aside, I think Rob means that the only media coverage Ethiopia ever seemed to get was when it was struck by famine in the 1970s (I vaguely remember Blue Peter fundraising for the victims). You have to be a bit of a niche reader to discover the country’s amazing culture and historic importance in areas like trade.

        • marcw says:

          Ignorance is not an excuse! Even a 2 min Wikipedia read should update you pretty easy (you don´t have to go to the library to read the encyclopedia anymore). We are almost in 2020, and you still really associate things from the `70s? I mean,,, almost 50 years ago!

        • roberto says:

          As someone in their 50’s who worked there delivering humanitarian help in 1984 I would say a “poverty stricken hole” was about right for the time in question. 400,000 Ethiopians died in just two years as a mix of political infighting and the collapse of their agriculture industry. Their government at the time was more interested in supporting the fighting in and around Eritrea than looking after almost 6 million people many of whom would have died if it where not for food aid programs. The whole place teetered on the edge of complete collapse for many months.

          Of course things have moved on in the last 35 years or so but Rob is correct in his assertion that correlating those dark times with a five billion dollar airline investment hardy rings true for people of a certain generation with long memories and little up to date info.

        • James23pop says:

          +1 sooner this ridiculous aid stops the better. They are strong country now who are ready to compete with the world!

        • Brian W says:

          I agree with Rob as I’m sure most do. Hannah-Lucy should wind her neck in.

          I’m over 40 (just) and associate Ethiopia with poverty, but that’s not the point. She is offended by what Rob said, so what? Who cares? I bet the majority aren’t offended. Today’s generation seems to be offended by anything, They actually go out of their way to find offence in everyday life. It’s almost a reverse psychology, it’s laughable really. If that’s Rob’s opinion and it offends you just deal with it. To use the phrase ‘borderline racist’ is comical. That bloke on the Ryanair plane yesterday, that’s racist. Get a grip.

          Put your big girl pants on Hannah-Lucy or go find another blog to read is my advice.

      • Nick_C says:

        Completely agree Rob. I’m well over 40, and I still associate Ethiopia with poverty and famine. I’ve spent about 100 days in various African countries, and flown with a few African airlines.

        • Callum says:

          People who have no interest in the world I get, but you’re a frequent traveler – including to Africa – yet were still under the impression Ethiopia is some kind of backwards hell hole. Why do you think that is?

        • Kipto says:

          +1. People need to chill. Too easily offended.

      • Chris says:

        Rob – I saw you comment on a OMAAT post recently to the effect that authors need to take reader comments on board and not simply become defensive about well-meant (even if, occasionally, sharply-written) criticisms. With the greatest respect, I can’t help but feel the same about you now.

        I’m a huge fan and long-standing reader of this site. I am also a huge fan of eastern Africa generally, including Ethiopia.

        In my – very humble – opinion, it’s not right or fair to refer to Ethiopia as a “poverty stricken hole”, even under the thin veil of how “most people over 40” think about it. For a website with your readership, I also think that it verges on being irresponsible to do so – the job of sites such as this is surely to educate and inform, rather than perpetuate stereotypes?

        Ethiopia has obviously had some awful periods in the past (and, of course, is still clearly very poor by world standards), but has a very quickly developing economy, a thriving (and growing) tourism industry and – back on topic – a pretty solid airline based in its capital city.

        This is your site and you can obviously run it as you wish, but – and clearly others – found part of this article deeply off-putting.

        • Rob says:

          Except, of course, that’s not what I said.

        • Doug M says:

          This part of the article? He said may find member of Star Alliance improbable. He also said the airline flies to more African destinations than any other, and was profitable, but that’s been largely ignored.
          The purpose of this site is not to educate and inform, it’s to make money.
          If you want to find fault with the site today, I’d have much greater concern at the pushing of investments, particularly pensions, for gaining some Avios than I ever would with the alliance membership of an airline.

        • Chris says:

          I think it’s “agree to disagree” time, for me! I’m a (very) long way from being a millennial snowflake, but I am a decade under 40 and suspect that the fairly polarised reactions to this fall pretty squarely along generational lines. I’m disappointend that you don’t see why this (by which I principally mean the language in the original post) is just plain wrong.

        • Doug M says:

          I’m 58 so you may have a point. But the language seems generally so positive, the things I said previously, launch customer for 787, early adopter of A350. To me it feels like what can I find to offend me. But as you say, maybe it’s just age.

        • Hannah-Lucy says:

          Thank you Chris & Callum, I wholeheartedly concur with your responses. And you’re quite right, it’s very disappointing to see Rob unable to uneducate bigots even through his disrespectful responses due to such wide readership he receives. It’s a great blog however with Trump akin comments like “sh*thole countries” it really does make you wonder the political correctness of the author in question.

        • James says:

          Reply to Callum, his post being at 10:44. He asked why Ethiopea could be seen as a backwards hellhole by a frequent traveller.

          My experience of just Addis Ababa Bole airport, in September 2018, was follows:

          1. The toilets in the transit area were in a shipping container. There was the smell of sewage not being adequately dealt with.
          2. I almost bought some Cuban cigars in the offical duty free outlet, but luckily I have a familiarity with Cohiba cases. I spotted several warnings signs and withdrew from the sale. In the lounge I then read article after article of negative experiences of travellers having succumbed to the fake goods being sold there, ranging from the perfumes to sunglasses even to bottles of wine being tampered with by cashiers at point of purchase!

        • Alex Sm says:

          Yes, well said @Chris, this blog is no longer just a personal space of its author/s, so a lot more caution and sensitivity is needed. And of course, readers’ feedback needs to be taken into account

      • BrotherBear says:

        The PC brigade looking for something to take offence at are out in force again I see.

        • Callum says:

          The grumpy bigots out to demand everyone accept their bigotry without question are out in force I see.

        • Greens says:

          When will you people understand these are now strong counties who don’t need your sympathy or aid! They are growing more strong every day and will soon be taking their own holiday in your London! Best wake up and be polity!

      • Gavin says:

        my folks are nearly 70 and off to Ethiopia on vacation next February, as part of their quest to visit every temple, castle, palace and historic church globally.

        • BSI1978 says:

          Lovely stuff Gavin – pleased to read this in amongst everything else above.

      • Callum says:

        You don’t need to be over 40 to associate Africa with poverty – it doesn’t therefore follow that you just naturally assume the entire continent (or even just one country) is a basket case and beyond hope forever. I’m curious whether it is actually the case that most people in their 40s would be shocked Ethiopia could do something successfully – doesn’t seem to be the case on here so far!

        Also interesting to see if you learnt from the last time you made disparaging remarks and just kept digging a hole when challenge by 90% of the commentators!

        • Wow what an idiot says:

          He didn’t say anything like that. What’s the matter callum, Daily Mail website down?

        • Callum says:

          Wow what an idiot – I see you’re living up to your name… I’m struggling to see the logic with the Daily Mail comment – Rob and his view are much more fitting for that trash than I am. Logically you could have used “Socialist weekly” or something… (Assuming that’s a thing?)

          And yes, that’s exactly what he said. Why else would it be improbable for a country stricken by poverty 30 years ago to have a profitable airline today?

        • You really are an idiot says:

          “the entire continent (or even just one country) is a basket case and beyond hope forever”

          where did he say that. You’re a moron

        • S says:

          I’m 21 and I associate Africa with unrest and poverty.

          And of course, I’m right, because everything is relative, and it really is unrest and poverty compared with the UK or the US for example.

        • Shoestring says:

          —> S – you’re not wrong, just unscientific – and that doesn’t make you wrong!

          I’m 55 years of age. I won’t ever go to Africa in my remaining years, unless you consider diving again in the Red Sea to be N Africa (it’s Egypt) – might do that. Or Morocco.

          Not enough time to do everything and Africa just isn’t on the bucket list, despite some engaging Hemingway (eg Green Hills of Africa).

          Why not? Probably partly the irrational fear that in Africa they’ll kill you for $50 but really the truth that I prefer Europe, Aus/ NZ & SE Asia (Thailand/ Indonesia etc) – so don’t need Africa, thanks very much.

        • Callum says:

          Mr Idiot – Pay close attention. I can’t quite tell whether you’re an utter moron or just an ignorant bigot, but I’ll keep this simple for you.

          If you are surprised a country that was deep in poverty 30 years ago could be running a large successful airline today, solely because of their situation 30 years ago, then there is no way you could not be making the assumption that they will stay a basket case forever.

          Not to mention I’d hope people like Rob, an aviation blogger, would have a basic grasp on the workings of an airline. Given Ethiopian operate as a connecting hub, even if the country was still in desperate poverty the airline could still operate well. Though he’s now clarified that he was writing what he thinks old ignorant people would imagine not what he thinks – certainly a weird writing style but to each their own.

          Finally, if I pay no attention to a country for 30 years, I don’t really make strong assumptions about it. E.g. on hearing Ethiopian was a strong airline I may think “how interesting, they’ve done well compared to my previous experience” not “WHAT! That hell hole full of poor people has achieved something!? Surely not”. But then I guess that makes me a crazy PC liberal (something most of us would simply call common decency).

          Now I think about it, the classification of basic manners as crazy PC nonsense by you and your ilk explains a lot about the direction this country is heading in – and makes me glad I’m well and truly out of it now (cue the hilarious and original “we don’t want you here anyway”).

      • Will says:

        Ethiopia has a gdp per capita of less than $1000 nominal, its HDI ranking is 173.
        By any objective measure it’s not the sort of country you’d associate with brand new launch customer aircraft. That comment appears completely fair to me.

        Nothing against Ethiopia, it may well be lovely there but to make out it’s not one of the poorest countries in the world is just false, it’s gdp per capita ppp is alongside Afghanistan and Yemen!

      • Alex Sm says:

        I had similar feelings re this typically British looking down on everyone else in the world when I read the first para but then Rob partly saved his face by listing all the good achievements of ET – THE BIGGEST AIRLINE IN AFRICA.

        But – as all these comments show – a bitter aftertaste remained. Ideally, this type of judgements or dubious descriptions of any kind should be avoided in the HFP posts in the future. Leave it to the Daily Mail, Rob!

    • marcw says:

      Hopefully we have learnt a lesson: as travelers we have a responsibility not to (pre)judge places and things based on our past worldview.
      Let´s have lunch in an Ethiopian restaurant followed by a cup of ethiopian coffee!

    • Jon says:

      I think InsideFlyer’s article today is a tongue-in-cheek swipe at this discussion 😀

      • marcw says:

        This is great!

        • Shoestring says:


          Who writes that? Probs a regular here, as this is where they swipe most of their newsfeed I guess + FT

          • Rob says:

            Good to see Craig working hard to earn the €15 per article that his ex-boss told me they pay him 🙂

            Perhaps I should do a little article explaining what happened to the guy who IF hired to edit the UK version ….

        • Shoestring says:

          [So, ignore those who would have you believe Ethiopia remains irreversibly blighted by the misfortunes of decades ago. This is a progressive, energetic nation with a huge amount going for it.]

          Gotta lol on the carpet


          Just lolling

        • Alex Sm says:

          Rob – it’s not a great way to respond by resorting to personal allegations about people and money

    • the_real_a says:

      This exchange is a fascinating insight into the contemporary offense scene in Britain…

      • Peter K says:

        I consider myself relatively educated and unbiased and I’m under 40. I’ve visited 4 continents (including Africa) and made friends with locals in all four. I try to keep up to date with local and world affairs, for example I enjoy BBC Radio 4 for the extra insight on the news, but everything I remember hearing/reading/seeing in the media about Ethiopia suggests it is not a trailblazer on the worldwide scene.
        It seems I’m wrong about that but if I had been asked before this article about it I would have placed them in the same group as Somalia. Surely that is not about racism but rather lack of publicity of success stories of countries by our media in this country.

        • Catalan says:

          It has more to do with the western media’s (read Murdock) continual misinformation regarding the continent than it does racism. If you perpetuate negative stories chances are you will be believed sooner or later.

        • Capt Hammond says:

          Murdock? But he was always so funny in the A Team! The Face seems the sort to spread misinformation though. He’s probably working for Fox News and Rupert Murdoch now…

        • Greens says:

          When will you people understand these are now strong counties who don’t need your sympathy or aid! They are growing more strong every day and will soon be taking their own holiday in your London! Best wake up and be polity!

  • Clive says:

    FlyBE may be the next to close or the share price is an absolute bargain

    • Shoestring says:

      True enough – share price in dire straits

      Google [Flybe issues profit warning on fuel costs and weak pound] to get behind the paywall.

      ‘The airline said it would now make a pre-tax loss of about £22m, against market expectations of a £3.5m loss, though there was some mitigation in the form of the cancellation of a £10m provision made in previous accounts. Last year, the company lost £19.2m.
      At the close, Flybe shares were down 13.3p to 18.9p, a fall of more than 55 per cent on a year ago.’

      • Shoestring says:

        ‘Flybe’s recent strategy has been to cut capacity and focus on popular routes to increase numbers on each flight and improve yield per passenger.’

        They forgot to add: & deliberately rob passengers of Avios points (points means money), a clear corporate policy of not awarding earned points then giving passengers a small 10 day window between 30-40 days after flight to claim them otherwise Flybe sez no.

        • Rob says:

          It is an IT issue apparently. Once they switch to Amadeus there will be a six month window.

        • Michael Jennings says:

          I flew FlyBe PRG-SEN last week. The Avios came through about a day after the flight. No problem at all.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Dnt worry about the share price. Look at the debt or CDS for a more accurate picture.

        • Shoestring says:

          bit of a barometer

        • AndyW says:

          In theory the share price fully reflects all relevant information (EMH)… not that anyone really believes this follows completely in reality of course

  • Boo says:

    OT: That “underwater” hotel in Shanghai, the Intercontinental Wonderland, is now open for booking. I just booked for 70000 points. Rewards book into “2 single bed rock cliff view” so I hope I get upgraded to something a little better than that!

    Underwater rooms are ~£700 after taxes.

    Or there’s an underwater suite which will be £10467.32 for a refundable rate…

    • David says:

      Given the “mixed” quality of workmanship in some Chinese infrastructure projects, I’m not sure how well I’d sleep in an underwater room…

      • Anna says:

        The very concept puts me in mind of disaster movies!

      • LB says:

        …oh dear-now you’ve set off the “I have to be seen to be offended” brigade again ;).

        • Boo says:

          How dare you dismiss my right to misconstrue and exaggerate anything you say and take offence at it! You must be another of those over-40 bigots! I’m so offended by your bigotry that I’m going to write in CAPITAL LETTERS and I’m right because I travel way more than you.

      • Doug M says:

        No it’s fine. They used external contractors, an Ethiopian company won the contract.

        • LB says:


        • Memesweeper says:

          We have our winner for comment of the year.

        • ankomonkey says:

          To help get us all back to normality, has anyone got the Amex PRG->Plat upgrade link? What? Some people pay their council tax with Amex? How on earth? Tesco Extra Hull had about 30 3V cards this morning. It now has 0 😉

    • Delbert says:

      I’m not staying in some underwater Chinese hotel. Knowing my luck it’ll end up like The Poseidon Adventure.

  • Simon B says:

    OT – I have an offer to add a supplementary card holder to my BAPP, with 3,000 avios as a bonus incentive.
    My wife is just about to cancel her Gold Amex with a view to reapplying in 6 months. If she is a supplementary card holder on my BAPP will this invalidate the 6 months break for the purposes of reapplying and receiving the sign up bonus in 6 months?


    • Genghis says:

      No. Supps don’t count for anything. And different reward currency. Rule is: no bonus if you’ve held a primary card earning that reward currency in last 6 months.

      • Simon B says:

        Thanks for te prompt reply Genghis – looks like an easy 3,000 avios for me then!


  • Nigel the pensioner says:

    One of my good friends from work booked a £300 business return with Colbalt LHR to Larnaca. He got out ok but was due to return tomorrow. He will get his £150 back from his cc company but, disgustingly, within 24 hours, BA had rocketed the price for a one way Larnaca to LHR from £180 to £570 in STEERAGE!!! This is absolutely outrageous behaviour and the type of thing that lyin’ air would do; profiteering at the expense of disadvantaged passengers. Apparantly the plane seat map at the time he booked showed a pretty empty aircraft too!

    • Nick_C says:

      He should find the cheapest way back and claim from the credit card issuer. Consequential loss. Covered by S75.

    • Callum says:

      It’s the kind of thing every airline does. The more seats you sell, the more the price goes up.

      You may remember the controversy when the system for the US airlines automatically did the same thing when everyone was trying to flee a hurricane, until they manually intervened and overrode the prices.

    • Leo says:

      It’s no different to what hotels were doing on the South Coast during the Southern Rail strikes. Capitalism at work or profiteering depending on your perspective.

      • the_real_a says:

        As someone who got caught up in something like this in another industry, its almost certain that the “usual” pricing tool is doing the “usual” thing in peak pricing due to demand, rather than a bunch of people making a conscious decision to screw people over.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Does seating available on a BA seat reservation map correlate to plane load tho?

      (genuine question, in light of hand baggage only fares, and pricing to pick seats unless status member etc etc)

    • Shoestring says:

      Get him the Avios seat and ask for a few pints?

  • Catalan says:

    Re Cobalt Air and their supposedly ‘superior’ seat in business class. Just goes to show how that product, however nice looking, is just not profitable on pan-European routes. In this era of mass air travel the populous aren’t interested in wider seats of a few inches. Cheap, cheaper and cheapest is king.

    • Rob says:

      That is unfortunately true. There is pathetically little evidence, even looking globally, that giving customers a better product leads to financial success. This leads to a bigger question of why the airline industry defies all of the usual laws of economics.

      • Callum says:

        I don’t think it really does. It just seems that way because it’s the segment you’re focused on.

        What percentage of passengers are in premium economy or higher in the UK? Probably less than 5% and decreasing. Doesn’t seem much different to most industries, and is much less than others (way more than 5% by premium food/drink brands, clothes, electronics etc.).

      • the_real_a says:

        The issue of course is that the definition of better isn’t universal.

    • Russ says:

      I’m not sure if it’s because people aren’t interested in paying for a better product or if the right product still isn’t available to purchase. There seems to be a growing trend where airlines are building miniature business class cabins into narrow body aircraft i.e.320, 321s etc to do medium haul flights up to 6 hrs (QR, PRG-DOH). But they’re shortened the leg room too much to make it a viable business class product and more probably sits better as a premium economy product.

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