Ethiopian Airlines Cancels A Washington Route & Delays Houston/Toronto Services


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Towards the end of January, Ethiopian Airlines announced that it would be changing up its services between Addis Ababa and North America with the airline ceasing operations to/from Los Angeles, offering new services to Houston and Toronto, and adding more service to Washington DC….but now things appear to be changing again (HT: Routes Online).

New Washington DC Service Cancelled

The new Ethiopian Airlines service between Addis Ababa and Washington D.C. was set to launch from 20 June 2019 and would have seen the airline increase its frequencies between the two cities from 7x to 10x/week….but not any longer.

In the latest schedule update the planned 3x/week Addis Ababa – Abidjan – Washington Dulles service has been canceled and doesn’t appear anywhere in the airline’s schedules.

The airline’s existing 7x/week service which routes through Dublin (on the outbound) appears to be unchanged.

Ethiopian Delays Houston Service Launch

Photo by Vlad Busuioc

Ethiopian was expected to be launching a new service between Addis Ababa and Houston (via Lome, Togo) from 23 June 2019 but, based on the latest changes made to the airline’s schedule, the service will not now be launched until 14 December 2019 (15 December for departures from Addis Ababa).

Here’s what the schedule looks like (from December 2019):

ET518 ADD 21:30 – 00:05+1 day LFW 01:15+1 day – 08:40+1 day IAH (Wed, Fri & Sun)
ET519 IAH 11:00 – 05:00+1 day LFW 06:00+1 day – 14:30+1 day ADD (Mon, Thu & Sat)

Interestingly, this may not be the end of the changes to this service as, although it appears in the schedules, bookings are not yet being taken and ExpertFlyer is showing no availability across all fare classes.

Ethiopian Delays Toronto Service Re-Start

17 June 2019 was supposed to be the date for Ethiopian to restart its 5x/week service between Addis Ababa and Toronto but, as of today, it looks like the airline has pushed back the restart date for this route to 28 October 2019.

Just as with its existing route between Addis Ababa and Washington the route to Toronto sees Ethiopian make a fuel stop in Dublin on the westbound flight while the return journey is made nonstop.

Here’s the currently published schedule:

ET502 ADD 23:00 – 04:30+1 day DUB 05:15+1 day – 08:45+1 day YYZ (Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri & Sun)
ET503 YYZ 11:00 – 05:00+1 day ADD (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun)

Unlike Ethiopian’s delayed route to Houston, this route is currently on sale so, hopefully, there will be no further delays.

Bottom Line

It’s not obvious why the new Washington service has been pulled or why the other services have been delayed (I haven’t seen any official comments from Ethiopian) so I can only speculate at this point.

It’s possible that Ethiopian is suffering similar issues with its 787 Dreamliners that other airlines  (like Virgin Atlantic) have seen and so is short of aircraft to operate these routes right now.

It’s also possible that bookings on some (or all) of these routes were down on expectations and with revenues not looking promising the airline has chosen to cancel or delay their launch.

Whatever the reasons this isn’t good news for flyers and, if you’re booked to fly any of the services that are now canceled or delayed, I suggest getting in touch with the airline asap (if they haven’t already contacted you).

3 COMMENTS

  1. the airline did not contact passengers. on June 25, 2019, they stranded 30 passengers at the airport without an apology. Customer service was nonexistent and so was empathy.

  2. I was supposed to fly out from Dulles airport on June 25, 2019, on a COTE D IVOIRE flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines. Upon my arrival, at the airport, I noticed there was no-one at the counter. I figured I had just arrived too early since my flight was at 9:00 PM and it was only 5:30 PM. After waiting an hour, the ticket counter still was not open so my family and I decided to call the airline’s 1-800 number. They told us that someone should have been at the counter. Simultaneously, a young lady sitting across from us then interjected and informed us that her family was going through the same situation. Her father was supposed to fly out on the same flight but they told him the flight had been canceled. She said he was downstairs in the office speaking with a representative. I proceeded downstairs to try and speak with the representative and get information as to what was going on. He reiterated the same information the young lady said and said that there was nothing he could do. At first, he refused to contact anyone and had a nonchalant attitude. As the minutes passed more passengers came and he finally got in contact with a supervisor. The supervisor was also of no help and proceeded to claim that we had been sold fake tickets and that we needed to contact our booking agents. With a crowd of approximately 20 people in their office; women and children included, Ethiopian Airlines refused to even issue out meal tickets to us, though it was already almost midnight. After six hours the airline representatives finally spoke with the booking agents and it was determined that Ethiopian did not agree with the price point COTE D IVOIRE airlines set and because of this, they ended the agreement with them, a month prior to my flight although they continued to advertise it. They refused us any services for our inconvenience, issued no apologies, simply said there was nothing they could do for us. In the end, I had to cancel my trip because there was a limited time I could go before I resumed school. I will never even attempt to fly Ethiopian again. Poor customer service is an understatement for this company.

  3. You should have researched your flight. I am from the USA but I see Ethiopian is a great airline of Africa. It is operated 100% by Africans and it is really marvelous thing they do. They have no that agreement with Air Cote Dvoar , it did not work. So they announced on their website. But the travel agents of the internet like this situation and sell unautorized thickets. Some passengers may use the thicket confusing the airport people and in the name of customer service. Those smart Ethiopian Airlines guys told you they could not do any thing. It is really non of Ethiopian Airlines mistake.

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