Ethiopian Airlines Eyes Bengaluru As Latest Destination

African air carrier Ethiopian Airlines has added Bengaluru to its route network. The route began on 27th October 2019.

Ethiopian Airlines Eyes Bengaluru As Latest Destination
Ethiopian Airlines is now flying commercial flights to Bengaluru. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines

The route details

Ethiopian Airlines opened up the route to Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) in India earlier this week. The route will go from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia to Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and back.

The airline will now operate the flight four times a week, according to Anna Aero. A look on its website shows that the route will be flying Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from Addis Ababa to Bengaluru. The flights will all leave at 23:20 local time and arrive at 08:00 into Bengaluru the next day.

Currently, the service from Bengaluru to Addis Ababa operates Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The flight leaves at 02:30 and arrives at 06:35.

Ethiopian Airlines Eyes Bengaluru As Latest Destination
Ethiopian Airlines will use its Boeing 737 for the service. Photo: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons

Although Ethiopian Airlines already has a cargo service operating to Bengaluru, this will be the first non-stop passenger service. To make it possible, Ethiopian Airlines is using its Boeing 737-800 aircraft suitable for long-haul services.

The first flight arrived in Bengaluru on Monday 28th October at 08:00, departing from Addis Ababa. The route is the third that the airline currently flies to India and it is hopeful of the future relationship that this particular connection will bring.

Speaking to the Times of India after the inaugural flight, Tizita Mulugeta, Ethiopian Ambassador to India, said:

“This new passenger flight will definitely add something to the exisiting relationship between the two countries.”

The world’s first

But there’s more to this route than first meets the eye. The route is a first for more than one reason.

On one hand, its the shortest ever service operating at the moment that connects the two regions. With a flight time of six hours and 35 minutes, this service is the shortest connection between Africa and India.

But that’s not all. There is also no other airline operating a direct service between Ethiopian and Bengaluru. So not only has Ethiopian Airlines secured this precious connection but it’s also done it in record time.

Ethiopian Airlines Eyes Bengaluru As Latest Destination
The route has made two world firsts, but why is it so important? Photo: Hansueli Krapf via Wikimedia Commons

So why was Ethiopian Airlines so keen to add Bengaluru to its destination list?

The customers and the investors

Well, it’s a loyalty move as well as an economic one. The route to Bengaluru is aimed at business travelers. It means quicker and easier business connections for people working in the areas, particularly those who work in IT.

The Chief Executive Officer at the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Tewolde Gebremariam told the Times of India that the IT industry is important. He said that many African IT projects are now starting up. As Bengaluru is the polestar of IT in India, it makes sense to focus on this route.

As well as this, Tizita Mulugeta was keen to mention that there are currently around 500 Indian investors in Ethiopian sectors. The relationship between the two countries is already strong. Ethiopian Airlines already serves Delhi and Mumbai and the new route brings a total of 32 weekly flights to India from Ethiopia.

This new addition could well be part of Ethiopian Airlines’ Vision 2025. Since 2010, it’s been on a projectile of rapid growth securing new aircraft and new destinations. We contacted Ethiopian Airlines about its vision but it was unavailable for comment.

Will you be flying Ethiopian’s new route? Let us know!