Ethiopian Airlines Flights May Stop-Over in Dublin
Published on Jul 14 2014 1:54 PM in General Industry
Africa's largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines is seeking a stop-over in Dublin, according to a report in today's Irish Times. The airline is considering launching a service from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles and using Dublin as a stop-over. It has already secured rights from the aviation regulator and the department of transport has agreed in principle to the deal.
At the moment, Ireland has no direct routes to Africa or Los Angeles. As part of the agreement it is envisaged that there would be 'fifth-freedom' rights which would allow the airline to collect passengers on the stop-over here, but the airline has not yet applied for the rights.
There has been some controversy over the proposals as Aer Lingus used to fly to Los Angeles and apparently some US airlines have threatened to pull out of Ireland if the move goes ahead.
However, the paper notes that while neither former transport minister Leo Varadkar nor the new transport minister Paschal Donohoe have signed off on the deal, Varadkar said he did not want to "refuse an airline offering to open new routes on the basis that Irish or American airlines operating other routes believe it would somehow damage their interests." Varadkar also believes that the route would serve Ireland's business and tourism interests.
This deal would tie in with the Government's new draft aviation policy which pledges to grant more fifth-freedom rights at Irish airports. There are already fifth-freedom rights with non-EU and non-US countries such as Singapore and Qatar.