Ethiopian Airlines will soon connect Los Angeles with Lomé, Togo. The move comes as the carrier drops the Dublin connection between its hub in Addis Ababa and the US West Coast. The shift adds just over two hours to the trip between Los Angeles and Addis but also creates significant additional connecting opportunities for passengers.
The final Los Angeles-Dublin-Addis Ababa flight departs on 14 December 2018. Starting on December 17th the connection point shifts to Lomé, keeping the 3x weekly service in place with flights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Demand for nonstop service on the LA to Lomé route may be relatively light but the new route brings more of Africa closer to the West coast. Lomé serves as the hub for ASKY Airlines, part-owned by Ethiopian. The westbound flight is well timed for connections from several other cities in the region, including Ouagadougou, Lagos, Abuja, Douala, Abidjan, Kinshasa, Dakar and Accra.
The return trip is less well connected, with those trips requiring an overnight in Togo, but the overall offering remains compelling in many ways.
The shifted connection point also allows Ethiopian to serve the Lomé-Addis route with its 787 more frequently. The current service to Newark also connects at Lomé four days a week; the other three connect in Abidjan. The new LAX connection will bring the intra-Africa hub-to-hub connection up to daily service.
Ethiopian must also now contend with Kenya Airways’ nonstop flights from Nairobi to New York’s JFK airport, as well as potentially service to Atlanta. The elevation at Addis precludes nonstop services making the Lomé hub a strong option for the carrier.
As for the Dublin service, Ethiopian will continue to serve the city thrice weekly, but as a one-stop via Madrid rather than the current nonstop operation. Passengers seeking flights between LA and Dublin still have the Aer Lingus option, a route well fed by connections at Dublin.