Addis Advisor has alerted us to a drastic increase in the cost of domestic flights in Ethiopia as of Nov 2013. Broadly speaking, these now split up into three price tiers, the most expensive being for non-citizens who travel to Ethiopia with a carrier other than Ethiopian Airlines, the middle one being for non-citizens who fly to the country with Ethiopian Airlines, and the lowest being for Ethiopian citizens and expatriate residents with a Green Card. If you look at the Ethiopia Airlines website (http://www.flyethiopian.com/en/default.aspx), the standard fare quoted here for any given domestic flight is the one that will be paid by those coming into Ethiopia on another airline. Those flying into the country with Ethiopian Airlines will pay about 45-55% of this fare. Citizens and expatriate residents with a Green Card pay about 30% of the full fare.
Archive for the ‘Flights (International & Domestic)’ Category
Tags: airlines, bradt, Ethiopia, flights, travel, update
Tags: Addis Ababa, airport taxes, bradt, Ethiopia, travel, update
3. The situation if you are arriving a Terminal Two is more complicated, as meet-and-greeters and drivers are allowed into the terminal, but to do so they have to buy a ticket and queue up for a security check, so most of them opt to wait outside in the car park. I spent three hours waiting for two Colombian Tourists on Friday – on a late plane from Jeddah – and in that time I met four groups or individuals who were waiting inside, when their drivers proved eventually to be waiting outside! The driver for the Taitu Hotel is especially bad – he was inside at 0730 but outside for his next group at 0930. The potential for confusion is made worse by the phone network, which is pathetic right now. So make sure you know in advance whether the person meeting you is going to be outside or inside. And if you do agree to meet inside, a great rendezvous is the Yellow Spot Cafe, which is immediately to your left as you emerge from baggage hall, and is open plan (no walls) so you or they are very visible sitting there.
Tags: Addis Ababa, airlines, bradt, Ethiopian Airlines, flights, travel, update
See schedules on Ethiopian’s website: http://www.ethiopianairlines.com/en/booking/timetable.aspx
Tags: Addis Ababa, airlines, airport taxes, Bole Airport, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, flights, immigration, travel
It’s been drawn to my attention that several aspects of the information on flights & airports was not fully updated for the 6th edition.
So please note the following:
1. Arrival at Bole Airport (p80) – Especially if you need to buy a visa on arrival, immigration procedures at Bole Airport are a lot slower than they used to be. In essence this is because the volume of flights has more than trebled in recent years but the number of immigration desks hasn’t kept pace. Expect it to take an hour to 90 minutes from landing to leaving the airport.
2. Airlines (p83) - Alitalia no longer flies to Ethiopia. SAA flights are in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines. Other carriers that now fly to Addis Ababa include Egyptair, Fly Dubai, Gulf Air , Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines and Yemenia.
3, Domestic flights (P89) are now on 75-seat Bombadier Dash aircraft made in Canada. Since they got the new planes in 2010, more than 97% of Ethiopian domestic flights leave on time, and cancellations are a very rare occurrence indeed .
4. Ticket confirmation (p89) – It is no longer necessary to confirm domestic flights as you travel around the country, as stated here and in several regional chapters – flights are now effectively confirmed at the time of booking.
5. Taxes (p90) No additional taxes need to be paid at any airport on domestic (or for that matter international) flights. Where taxes are charged, they are incorporated into the ticket price at the time of booking/payment.
On p 90 of the 6th edition we mention paying a nominal tax in local currency on domestic flights. This is no longer the case as all airport taxes are incorporated into ticket prices.
In March 2012 the Ethiopian government looked seriously at passing a draft ruling cancelling the facility to buy visas on arrival at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport as of April 2012.
There was a lot of confusion at the time, leading this website – as well as several others – to warn travellers to check the situation and recommending that anybody planning to travel to Ethiopia in the immediate future buy their visa in advance to be on the safe side.
As it turned out, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ethiopia, under pressure from tour operators et al, eventually decided to shelf the draft ruling and stick with the established visa policy. In other words, visas are still available on arrival at Bole International Airport to the same nationalities they have always been.
To avoid further confusion, I am deleting all older posts relating to this unimplemented draft ruling and can also assure anybody who picks up similar posts dating to March and April 2012 on other websites that this ruling was never implemented. In the extremely unlikely event that anything does change with regard to visas on arrival, I will post details as soon as they are known to me.
I spent a few months in Addis Ababa last year, and got introduced to Hailleab from Overland Ethiopia www.overlandethiopiatours.com. Hailleab organised travel for me to different destinations and for different purposes (work related and pleasure). He proved not only adept at fixing things so every thing went without hassles, but was a great travel companion … knowledgeble and good company. If you’re looking for a local to help smooth your peregrinations in Ethiopia, Hailleab is your man. He also organises and accompanies group tours so even if you’re not on your own like I was, you should give him a go. I highly recommend him.
A note about airfares. If you have the time and its not inconvenient, I recommend buying domestic airfares on Ethiopian Airlines in person at one of their offices. Much cheaper than their (unreliable) website. For example, I bought two domestic return tickets from Addis to Gambela at the Ethiopian office between the airport and Bole Medenhalem paying cash and it cost USD$90 RT pp. instead of the $180pp advertised online. This is probably true for all East Africa flights (flights to Tanzania, Kenya etc. all go from the ”domestic” terminal) and I think have the same sales terms.
Also, can I plug my favorite Jazz club … also near Bole, Club Alize. Its right near the minibus taxi interchange. (Go around the back and down into the basement.) Thursday nights’ band is called Addis Acoustic Renaissance. They’re terrific.
Frank Rispin has kindly pointed out several minor errors in the new Ethiopia Highlights guide, as listed below:
p 80 Air France/Alitalia/BMI no longer fly to Addis Ababa. Other airlines that do fly into Addis but are not here include Egyptair, Fly Dubai, Gulf Air, Kenya Airways
p 93 The 1br COIN has been around for 2 plus years.
p 96 Although menus at local eateries are normally printed in Amharic, this is not the case for the type of restaurants likely to be frequented by people travelling with tour companies
p 108 Addis Map. Karamara Restaurant closed. Habesha is in wrong place (it is on the Bole Rd). The Top View is reached via the major intersection of 5 roads 1cm south east of Yeka Michael Church !! (ie the famous Meganya Interchange). Saris is in wrong place. Crossroads labelled Saris is the Gotera Interchange. Saris is south of this some 2/3kms.
p 113 What we refer to as the Lion of Judah statue is the Tilglachin Memorial – the tall obelisk with Red Star on top 300 metres further north up Churchill that is the war memorial for 78-79………
p 115 former Imperial Palace (actually called the Jubilee Palace in HS regime) is now the National Palace or the Presidential Palace….as the President lives there.
p 116 line 8. This bar next to Taitu is closed. Yes it was in a very small old church , and was at one time the Falklands Bar/Pub see Piazza Map 5th edition p156.
P 129. The turn off to Menagesha Forest is near Sabata, 25-30km from Addis Ababa on the Woliso (Jimma) road, not at Woliso itself.
p 242 Bekele Mola Hotel, Langano closed. One of the best things to do in Hawassa is go on the Hippo boat – much easier to find here than at Lake Zwai; but not mentioned.
I have posted about this before, but a reminder that there are no longer any special discounts for domestic Ethiopian Airlines fights for those who bought their international ticket with the same airline.
However, as of mid 2011, domestic flight tickets bought in Addis Ababa (and presumably elsewhere in Ethiopia) cost around half to one-third of the price of the same ticket bought outside the country or online though the Ethiopian Airlines website.
In other words, assuming that you are willing to risk buying domestic tickets after you land in Ethiopia, it will work out a lot cheaper than buying them in advance, irrespective of which airline you used to fly to Ethiopia. The risk you take, however, is that the flights you want are fully booked, especially in the high season.