Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The second screen of Addis Ababa's Bole Airport evening departures show many more options on Ethiopian Airlines near and far, from Muscat to Washington, Tel-Aviv to Stockholm, reflecting the breadth of the ancient country's modern connections both in terms of trade and diaspora communities.
The mid-night bank of flights from Addis Ababa's Bole Airport shows the busy base of East Africa's biggest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, working through the late hours. The terminal screens flip from Latin script to electronic Amharic, showing long-haul departures to London, Guangzhou, and Beijing, as well as medium-haul flights to Saudi Arabia and nearby Nairobi (home of arch-rival Kenya Airways). Two flights offer one-stop services: the first to Milan via Rome, the second a new extension of the Bangkok service to Kuala Lumpur.
Only TK677 on sister Star Alliance carrier Turkish Airlines to Istanbul is not on Ethiopian metal, although the screen's airline logos flip through the fellow alliance members, from Lufthansa to SAS to Air China.
Monday, May 27, 2013
The daily block of departures from Abidjan's Felix Houphouët-Boigny/Port Bouet International Airport on 23 April 2013 reveals a slate of recent developments in tropical African aviation. Especially new local entrant Air Côte D'Ivoire, recently risen from the ashes of the older Air Ivoire, providing three flights across the francophone region. Its first flight were in December 2012 and this post marks its first appearance on Timetablist.
Another is the young Senegal Airlines, similarly a quick replacement for defunct Air Senegal International, which in this case is heading eastward to other French-speaking centers in Togo and Cameroon. Lastly, Mauritania Airlines International, set up in 2010 to replace defunct Mauritania Airways (which was itself a second-try at the failed Air Mauritanie), is heading back to its capital, Nouakchott, via Bamako, Mali.
Regional growth carrier ASKY has two flights: to its hub at Lomé and to Conakry, while Air Burkina, one of the few West African airlines that has lasted more than a few years, links Burkina Faso's secondary city, Bobo Dioulasso.
Non-regional airlines make an appearance, providing the only links with non-French-speaking cities: Emirates offers the only wide-body on the day's schedule, its quad-engined A340s hopping next door to Accra before heading home to Dubai; Ethiopian Airlines ET916 is a next-gen B737 that stops in Cotonou before returning to its base at Addis Ababa's Bole Airport after a long journey from one side of the continent to the other.
Friday, May 10, 2013
One last in this week's series of new international carriers coming to Chicago, particularly those that are a resumption of previous intercontinental flights: The rather strange homepage graphic is from the website of Austrian Airlines, which this month is due to return to Chicago. The move has long been prudent, to feed into the massive mid-continental links of Star Alliance partner United Air Lines.
But the image above rather clumsily suggests connections not via the Midwest but Mittel-Europa; it has always been Austrian Airlines dream to have Vienna serve as a switch-station to points further east, such as here faraway Delhi or nearby Moscow or Kiev. There probably won't be too many US passengers for Minsk, and why anyone would connect from North America to London or Barcelona via Vienna is curious; better off trying the new-nonstop on PIA for Catalonia, for instance.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A final post a news out of Chicago, especially concerning new service to O'Hare featuring the exotic liveries of southwest Asian airlines and unusual fifth-freedom routes. The very nice site boardingarea.com has a feature on Pakistan International Airlines new Chicago-Barcelona service. Flight PK794 then continues on to both Islamabad and Karachi, although Boardingarea.com's post focuses on the extremely reasonable business-class fares to Spain.
The route is actually a resumption of long-standing service from Pakistan to the prairie which was temporarily cut in 2012. The older route included a Lahore stop, which is not in PIA's present plans for 2013.
A special thanks to boardingarea.com for the original reporting and use of the above images.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Following yesterday's post seems an opportune moment to look at the relationship between a fourth Gulf airline and Chicago O'Hare: Kuwait Airways, which once offered twice-weekly A340 flights from the tiny Emirate to the Windy City, initially via Amsterdam then later offering the only non-stop service from Illinois to Lake Geneva (the original body in Switzerland), with 5th-freedom rights to carry passengers between Europe and the Midwest. The service ended in November 2005, just as the mighty Emirates and other Mid-east mega-carriers began a massive expansion, with Kuwait Airways and Gulf Air being just two legacy carriers to retreat.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Qatar Airways, continuing its rapid, worldwide expansion by adding a fourth destination in the United States last month: Chicago O'Hare. The ultra-long range B777-300ER will ply the 13-hour route just three time per week until June, when the service will become daily, in time for the scorching season in both places. The move comes well-ahead, but presumably related to, Qatar's admission to the OneWorld alliance, which will involve greater coordination with American Airlines, which of course has a huge hub at ORD.
Qatar joins Etihad Airways as the second of the three fast-growing Gulf super-carrier to land at O'Hare. Now also a daily service, Etihad's extended range A340-500s have been descending over Lake Michigan since September 2009. Interestingly, this leaves Emirates, the mack-daddy of Middle Eastern mega-airlines, as the only one of the three rivals to not service the midwestern metropolis, despite serving smaller, secondary US hubs such as Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle for several years.