Ethiopian Airlines Launches Marseille Route Via Milan

Ethiopian Airlines has touched down in Marseille for the first time. The airline is operating flights to the city via Milan using a Boeing 787, however, it does not appear to be offering a fifth freedom route.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Addis Ababa Milan Marseille
The route is operated by an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787. Photo: Boeing

Ethiopian Airlines is slowly extending its grasp on the aviation industry. Indeed, the carrier is proving to lead the African aviation industry to some extent. The airline operates a number of flights where A to B is served with a stop in C. While some of these are operated as fifth freedom flights, it would seem that the carrier is not offering this option between Marseille and Milan.

Marseille via Milan

According to, Ethiopian began offering the Marseille extension on the 3rd July. The flight sees a Boeing 787 flying from Addis Ababa to Milan. However, rather than turning around in Milan, the aircraft offloads some passengers before continuing on to Marseille.

Flying back from Marseille to Addis Ababa sees the aircraft complete the opposite route. The Boeing 787 takes a short hop to Milan where more passengers join the aircraft. Following the brief stop, the aircraft continues back to Addis Ababa. Ethiopian is currently not selling fifth freedom tickets between Milan and Marseille.

The flight schedule

Ethiopian is operating the route from Addis Ababa to Marseille three times a week. The first overnight leg departs the Ethiopian capital on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. It follows the following schedule:

  • ET734 departs Addis Ababa at 23:45. After a seven hour overnight flight, the Boeing 787 touches down in Milan at 05:45.
  • After an hour on the ground, ET734 continues from Milan at 06:45. It flies for just 50 minutes, arriving in Marseille at 07:35.
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Addis Ababa Milan Marseille
Ethiopian now operates to Marseille via Milan. Image: GCMaps

After most of the day in Marseille, the return flight operates on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to the following schedule:

  • ET735 departs Marseille at 21:15, before arriving in Milan at 22:05.
  • After an hour on the ground, ET735 departs Milan at 23:05. The overnight flight then arrives back in Addis Ababa at 06:35 the next day.

Not fifth freedom

As previously mentioned, the link between Milan and Marseille is not being sold as a fifth freedom flight. This means that Ethiopian passengers can only fly between Addis Ababa and Milan or Marseille. There is not an option to fly from Milan to Marseille.

Ethiopian Airlines does, however, operate a number of other fifth freedom flights. One of our favourite fifth freedom flights operated by the Ethiopian flag carrier sees a Boeing 787-8 flying from Madrid to Dublin. These flights are often well discounted in order to fill seats. Who knows? Maybe one day Ethiopian will secure fifth freedom rights between Milan and Marseille.

What do you think of Ethiopian’s latest route? Would you fly it? Let us know in the comments!