Friday Fare Alert: Rome To Johannesburg Business Class From $1,688 (£1,125/€1,510)

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Ethiopian Airlines, a Star Alliance member, has loaded very good Business Class fare for travel between Rome and Johannesburg (via Addis Ababa).

The best prices are available between November and March but the prices available for other months aren’t that high either.

Pricing: Between $1,688 (£1,125/€1,510) and $1,830 (£1,220/€1,635)


Travel dates: November 2015 – September 2016

Booking: Must book by 20 October 2015

Minimum/Maximum Stay Requirements:

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As you can see from my selection, there isn’t a lot of restriction on how long your trip has to be to get the good fares:

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Example flight/routing (click to enlarge):

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The cheapest fares are available between November and March (although December isn’t great):





And after March the fare is consistently above $1,800 all the way through September….




Ethiopian Airlines

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about Ethiopian Airlines (except for what I can research on the web). Having said that, we can see that the flights are on 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 777 aircraft….so that can’t be too bad.

Ben, from the One Mile At A Time Blog, wrote a very good, full, review of the Ethiopian Airlines Business class product on the 787 here and, while his flight wasn’t on the Rome – Addis Ababa route, there’s no reason to believe that there’s any material difference.

Ethiopian Airlines 787Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner – Image courtesy of John Taggart via Flickr

Hi conclusion seems to indicate that the product isn’t bad…despite the angle-flat seats:

All things considered I was actually pleasantly surprised by Ethiopian. The plane was in great condition (as you’d hopefully expect from a brand new 787) and the food was edible. The service was nice enough though could have been a bit warmer, in my opinion.

I still think it’s a big mistake to install angled flat business class seats on a brand new plane, but compared to the 767 we were connecting to, they were basically heaven, so I guess I should keep that in perspective.

The second and slightly shorter leg of the route is the flight between Addis Ababa and Johannesburg and that’s served by an Ethiopian Airlines 777.

I struggled too find much useful information on the onboard product for the Ethiopian 777 although a review from 2012 (here) dose shed a little bit more light on the product.

Flying from Europe via Ethiopia to Johannesburg isn’t exactly the most obvious way to get to South Africa….but it’s hard to argue with the fare. When you consider that the next cheapest business class fare (on a recognised, good airline) is over $500 more (Turkish Airlines: FCO-IST-JNB) the argument for Ethiopian gets a little stronger.

Featured image courtesy of Nico Roets via Flickr