Ethiopian Airlines To Launch New Houston Service Via Lome

The unstoppable Ethiopian Airlines will be inaugurating a new route this December. From December 15th, passengers will be able to fly nonstop on Ethiopian Airlines from Houston to Africa. Ethiopian’s service to Houston will operate from Addis Ababa via Lome in Togo with Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

EThiopian Airlines 787
Ethiopian Airlines is launching new flights to Houston onboard Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Photo: Alan Wilson via Flickr

Ethiopian’s new service

Early in 2019, Ethiopian Airlines announced that they were changing their services to the United States. Service to Los Angeles would terminate in favor of a new thrice-weekly service from Addis Ababa to Houston via Lome, Togo. Ethiopian released the following statement on the route restructuring:

The U.S. is among our most important markets owing to the presence of a large African community and growing business and tourism ties with Africa.  Our new route structure with additional frequencies to multiple gateways and the opening of new route to Houston are aimed at responding to the market demand and availing best possible connectivity to over 60 African destinations

Ethiopian Airlines 787
Ethiopian Airlines added Houston as it dropped Los Angeles from its route network. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines

Routes Online reports that the new route will launch on December 15th, 2019 with thrice-weekly service. The service will depart Addis Ababa on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Houston departures are on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will depart Addis Ababa at 21:30. After a stop in Lome and a long transatlantic flight, the aircraft will touch down in Houston at 8:40 the next day. Ethiopian’s aircraft will depart Houston at 11:00 and finally arrive in Addis Ababa the next day at 14:30.

Why Houston?

For one, Ethiopian Airlines does not face much competition from Houston to Africa. In fact, the airline will be the only carrier to offer flights from Houston to Africa. Economically speaking, Houston is an oil and business hub. Thus, there is a significant potential for business connectivity that Ethiopian Airlines is trying to gain access to.

Boeing 787
Business and leisure travelers alike will have only one nonstop option to Africa from Houston. Photo: Boeing

Houston is also a major hub for United Airlines. And, compared to Los Angeles, Houston offers a plethora of onward connections for passengers.

Why Lome?

Addis Ababa is at a high altitude. Thus, the aerodynamics concerning takeoff are not favorable for launching nonstop service to the United States. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines flies several one-stops from Addis Ababa to the United States and other destinations in part due to this problem. However, instead of operating nonstop in the eastbound, Ethiopian Airlines can route via Lome and offer additional connections there through ASKY airlines- with whom Ethiopian Airlines partners.

ASKY Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines partners with ASKY Airlines in Togo. Photo: User Colin Cooke Photo via Flickr

The cabin

Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787-8s offer 24 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Ethiopian Airlines Business
Business Class on Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787-8. Photo: Boeing

As is standard in economy class, Ethiopian’s 787-8 feature a 3-3-3 configuration.

Ethiopian Airlines To Launch New Houston Service Via Lome
Economy class rendering on an Ethiopian 787. Photo: Boeing


Ethiopian Airlines keeps on growing. With this new flight, Africa’s largest carrier will offer new connections both to and from the United States. Africa is a unique and growing aviation market with incredible potential.

Will you fly with Ethiopian Airlines between Houston and Africa? Let us know in the comments!