Ethiopian To Temporarily Cut London Airbus A350 Capacity

Ethiopian Airlines has cut London to Addis Ababa from 10 services a week to only seven (once daily) in quarter four of 2019. This service is notable as it is entirely operated by Ethiopians’ Airbus A350-900XWB fleet.

Ethiopia
An Airbus A350 in Ethiopian Airlines livery. Photo: Wikimedia

What are the details?

From October 31st to the 10th of December 2019, Ethiopian will reduce the operations of their Airbus A350 London route.

London
London to Addis Ababa. Photo: GCmapper

Specifically, the new (slightly confusing) route configuration will be:

Every day except Monday,
Outbound flight number: ET700 – Addis Ababa 0120 – arriving at London at 0635.
On Mondays the flight will be:
Outbound flight number: ET710 – Addis Ababa 0845 departure – arriving at 1400 in London.Whilst on the return, on every day apart from Wednesday,
Inbound flight number: ET701 – Departing London 2015 – landing at Addis Ababa the next day at 0655.

Whilst on days that are not Wednesday, it reverts to,
Inbound flight number: ET701 leaving sunny London at 2055 – arriving the next morning at 0735.

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What is service like onboard the A350-900?

Currently, Ethiopia Airways has nine Airbus A350-900s in service but they have another 15 to be delivered. The aircraft has a configuration of 30 business class seats and 313 economy seats.

The business class cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration with lie-flat seats. As the configuration is side by side (and not reverse herringbone) there is actually no privacy between seats nor direct aisle access. This also means that business class passengers lack the coveted suite doors like the in the design of the Qsuite on Qatar.

The business class as featured on the Ethiopian Airlines A350. Photo: Ethiopian business class Boeing 787 / Wikimedia

The economy cabin is laid out in a 3-3-3 configuration, with each passenger having 32 inches of pitch (which is actually quite good compared to the industry average of 30 inches).

The economy class as featured on the Ethiopian Airlines A350. Photo: Ethiopian economy class Boeing 787 / Wikimedia

Each seat has in-seat power and a large entertainment screen. With the other benefits that a modern A350 provides passengers (large overhead bins, good humidity and LED mood lighting to replicate natural light cycles) this is actually one of the most comfortable ways to fly to London from Addis Ababa.

Why has Ethiopian reduced frequencies?

Ethiopian has not been clear why they have reduced services for this period. It could because they need the aircraft for other routes (although one would argue that London to Addis Ababa would be one of the airlines most profitable routes) or that they have overcapacity.

Additionally, since the Boeing 737 MAX disaster, Ethiopian has been hurting for business and having their remaining 737 MAX aircraft grounded and perhaps to never fly again would certainly hurt their bottom line.

A grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Ethiopian livery Photo: Wikimedia Commons

But as we can see, when Christmas and the other holidays roll around, Ethiopian is very keen to relaunch at least 10 services a week.

What do you think of this route change? Do you think it will benefit the airline? Let us know in the comments.

8 comments
  1. “since the Boeing 737 MAX disaster, Ethiopian has been hurting for business”

    Based on zero facts, airline continues to expand, planes diverted to growing long-haul routes…Africa to Asia!

  2. Things to note:
    – you incorrectly reference to the airline as Ethiopian Airways in your article.
    – Ethiopian should be flattered that you try to compare it to Qatar Airways. Ethiopian strives for value.
    – the schedule is not exactly confusing. Ethiopian has forever struggled to be able to get slots at Heathrow that can give it consistent offerings. In fact this upcoming schedule is the most consistent we have seen with almost all daily frequencies operating at a similar time. Unlike deep pocketed airlines like QR and EK, ET cannot afford the purchase of prime slots. Its allocation goes back to its historical operations to LHR which were 3-4 times per week at best.
    – Heathrow service is cyclical for Ethiopian and it adjusts its schedule accordingly. The A350 is a large aircraft and is capable of handling its needs in the winter as a single daily rotation. In recent years ET has had an increase in frequency to LHR during summer season, and as with all it’s services is quick to expand or contract offerings based on demand (something that many others don’t quickly react to.) if anything ET will use the aircraft to open new services or increase frequency where there is more money to be made, including China and Asia.
    – this article has nothing to do with the MAX and I don’t know why you’re compelled to add that. But since you’re inferring that ET’s business is hurting over the grounding of 4 MAXs, I’d like to challenge you to explain to your readers where the hurting business is. Ethiopian has not canceled flights, in fact has expanded by adding frequencies to Istanbul and Geneva, and new destinations to Amman, Bosaso, Garowe and Beira all since the crash which seems to have not slowed it down. It has added at least one 737-800 to its fleet in addition to A350s since, which are further supporting its business and expansion.

  3. It’s unfortunate that my last comprehensive comment on this subject remains waiting to be posted while undergoing moderation. Subsequent comments from others have made it through.

    Please promote open discussions and don’t hold back your visitors comments.

  4. Things to note:
    – you incorrectly reference to the airline as Ethiopian Airways in your article.
    – Ethiopian should be flattered that you try to compare it to Qatar Airways. Ethiopian strives for value.
    – the schedule is not exactly confusing. Ethiopian has forever struggled to be able to get slots at Heathrow that can give it consistent offerings. In fact this upcoming schedule is the most consistent we have seen with almost all daily frequencies operating at a similar time. Unlike deep pocketed airlines like QR and EK, ET cannot afford the purchase of prime slots. Its allocation goes back to its historical operations to LHR which were 3-4 times per week at best.
    – Heathrow service is cyclical for Ethiopian and it adjusts its schedule accordingly. The A350 is a large aircraft and is capable of handling its needs in the winter as a single daily rotation. In recent years ET has had an increase in frequency to LHR during summer season, and as with all it’s services is quick to expand or contract offerings based on demand (something that many others don’t quickly react to.) if anything ET will use the aircraft to open new services or increase frequency where there is more money to be made, including China and Asia.
    – this article has nothing to do with the MAX and I don’t know why you’re compelled to add that. But since you’re inferring that ET’s business is hurting over the grounding of 4 MAXs, I’d like to challenge you to explain to your readers where the hurting business is. Ethiopian has not canceled flights, in fact has expanded by adding frequencies to Istanbul and Geneva, and new destinations to Amman, Bosaso, Garowe and Beira all since the crash which seems to have not slowed it down. It has added at least one 737-800 to its fleet in addition to A350s since, which are further supporting its business and expansion.

  5. Arrives at London at 6 AM and leaves at 8 PM incredible ! More time on floor than in the airs 😀

    It is a new widebody not already amortized i have just only one question how many hours a A350 should fly per day to be paid ? Heuu.. when we see many airlines do fly their narowbody 18h a day we may have an idea about this question.

    ET pretends it win too much money but deserve only 10 european airports (KQ 7) whilst MS desserves 20 and AT desserves 30 airports in Europe, many of european airports Ethiopian Airlines desserve it let there their A350 ou B787 unbuzy many hours and half of them with unusefull stops : it stops in DUB to go to EWR and stops in MAD to go to DUB and stops in Roma to go to Madrid and so on..

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