Fifth-freedom flights are tag services that both start and end outside of the operating airline’s home country. These types of flights can be a great way to experience an airline without ever travelling to its home country. Fifth-freedom flights are often also cheaper, have better award availability and offer a more comfortable experience than you’d get on other airlines flying on the same route.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s largest airlines, is also one of the world’s largest operators of fifth-freedom routes. Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines currently sells tickets on 14 fifth-freedom routes outside of Ethiopia. In each case, these flights originate in Addis Ababa but stop in an intermediate country en-route to their final destination.
(As it happens, Ethiopian Airlines also has many other short tag flights within Europe and Asia that are not considered fifth-freedom routes because seats are not sold to passengers that are not travelling to or from Addis Ababa.)
If you’re loyal to Star Alliance – or perhaps you’d just like to give Ethiopian Airlines a try – it’s worth looking out for Ethiopian Airlines fifth-freedom routes. For example, Ethiopian Airlines flies Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Stockholm and Oslo. These flights are often half the price of flying an SAS Boeing 737 on the same route, and you’ll enjoy the outstanding Ethiopian hospitality on your one-hour flight within Scandinavia! If you’re in Business, you’ll even be lucky enough to get a lie-flat bed – a rarity on intra-Europe flights.
Other routes served by Ethiopian Airlines include Singapore-Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok-Hong Kong, Seoul-Tokyo and Buenos Aires-Sao Paulo.
As Ethiopian Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, you can earn or redeem miles with any Star Alliance frequent flyer program when flying with Ethiopian Airlines.
Here’s a complete overview of Ethiopian Airlines fifth-freedom routes, as of June 2019:
Wondering what other fifth-freedom routes exist? Australian Frequent Flyer has published a complete and regularly-updated list of fifth-freedom flights from all over the world: A Complete List of Fifth-Freedom Routes