Ethiopian Airlines to operate between Dublin and Los Angeles

First service to connect Africa with Ireland and US west coast

Ethiopian Airlines is set to operate three weekly flights direct from the Irish capital Dublin to Addis Ababa and Dublin direct to Los Angeles, beginning 15 June.

The historic flight will be the only direct service connecting Africa with Ireland and the west coast of the US. Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest carrier, will use a Dreamliner B787 for the flight which will have a two-hour stop-over in Dublin airport.

The move was made possible after Ireland granted Ethiopian Airlines what is known in the aviation sector as "fifth freedom rights", an agreement enabling the carrier to sell tickets on all sections of the new route.

The new service will Addis Ababa with Dublin and Los Angeles, after Ireland's national carrier Aer Lingus dropped the route in late 2012, and will also grant European and US commuters access to almost 50 African cities from the Ethiopian Airlines hub in Addis Ababa.

The carrier has the largest number of African destinations of any airline, including Johannesburg, Khartoum, Lagos, Nairobi and Zanzibar. The two new additions of Dublin and Los Angeles will increase its international network to 85 destinations across five continents.

Dublin airport continues to expand its routes worldwide, thanks largely to its strategic position on the edge of Europe and its large, modern Terminal 2 building which opened in 2010.