Ethiopian Airlines, the largest network operating carrier in Africa, is set to strengthen its United Kingdom flight network with a return to London Gatwick (LGW).
The carrier – which serves London’s Hathaway and Manchester airports, announces today that it will commence a thrice-a-week flight to/from London Gatwick Airport, beginning Nov 21, 2023.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew expects the new services to further strengthen the carrier’s 50-year relation with the UK. Ethiopian’s inaugural flight landed at London Heathrow in April 1973.
“We give high regards to our Heathrow services and now we are excited to add Gatwick to our vast global network,” Group CEO Mesfin said. “We are ready to stretch our reach to Gatwick and provide our renowned, award-winning services.”
Thai Airlines last served London Gatwick in 2005 and 2006 using the Boeing 757. The new route will be served by the Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
UK’s Rolls-Royce powers 20 Ethiopian Airlines A350-900 fleet in service today. Last Month, the two companies agreed to power four new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft on order with Trent XWB-97 engines
“Over the years, we have established commendable partnerships with over 100 UK-based companies in the aviation sector,” Meafin said. “Our expansion in the UK, among others, will enable us to nurture this cooperation and partnership to a higher level.”
The new service will offer a direct flight between London-Gatwick and its hub Addis Ababa, and is expected to complement Ethiopian’s daily non-stop flight to London Heathrow and five times a week service to T2 Manchester.
“Adding London-Gatwick to our UK schedule is truly great news as it will enable us to provide much-needed capacity not only for our passengers but also for our cargo services carried in the belly hold,” said Henock Woubishet, Area Manager UK & Ireland.
Ethiopian flights services to the UK transport over 10,000 passengers monthly, with connections to over 60 destinations across Africa and connections to the Far East and Asia. The number will now further increase with the return to Gatwick Airport.
Stephanie Wear, VP of Aviation Development at London Gatwick, has welcomed Ethiopian Airlines back to London Gatwick, saying: “This is an excellent addition to our network and adds a valuable, direct connection to Eastern Africa”.
“It’s also fantastic news for passengers across London and the South East to have more choice and direct services to Addis Ababa, as well as greater opportunities for onward connections across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East,” Wear added.
Ethiopian Airlines boasts of operating the lion’s share of the African passenger and cargo network and currently flies to more than 150 domestic and international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.