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Maxwell Photography
Out of Africa

You will see a lot more of this at Dublin Airport this year*

*The plane, not dancers in African costume on the tarmac.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES WILL shift its European hub to Dublin, lifting the number of its transatlantic flights through the airport to 16 per week within a few months.

The African carrier will use the airport as a refuelling hub for its flights from Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to both Washington and Toronto from May.

However the landings will be a transit stop for refuelling only – which means its fleet of Boeing 777s and 787s won’t be dropping off or picking up passengers. It previously used Rome as its European base.

The airline earlier announced it was launching a new route from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles via Dublin this summer after it was granted fifth-freedom rights in Ireland for those flights.

That means the carrier can sell the two legs of the journey on individual tickets, enabling passengers to board in the Republic for its flights to the US west coast. The new route and the return leg to the African city are due to start on 20 June.

ETHIOPIAN D LINER NEW SERV DUB MAX-2 Maxwell Photography Maxwell Photography

Good business

Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison said the refuelling deal was a “significant piece of business” for the hub and it would help to deepen the relationship with Ethiopian Airlines.

A number of other European airports were bidding for this contract, so it’s particularly pleasing to have won it,” he said.

Dublin Airport will have 21 new routes this year, including 10 to Europe, five to Britain, four transatlantic flights and two to Africa.

Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest airline by fleet size, although it hasn’t been without controversy in recent years.

One of the airline’s new 787 Dreamliners caught fire at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2013, while last year a co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva. The man said he felt threatened in his own country and wanted to seek asylum in Switzerland.

READ: Peaceful protest to take place at Dublin Airport >

READ: Aer Lingus bosses will share in millions if a sale goes ahead >

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