Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa International) is interested in operating fifth-freedom long-haul flights from Accra (Ghana) to the Canadian destinations Toronto Pearson and Montréal Trudeau, pending requisite approvals from the Ghanaian and Canadian civil aviation authorities, according to chief commercial officer Lemma Yadecha Gudeta.

"Yes, we are interested in a 5th Freedom Right [from Ghana to Canada]," he confirmed to AviationGhana during a visit to Accra last week. He said the airline was awaiting authorisation from Canadian authorities for more slots to fly there. "Hopefully, we are going to get more slots to fly to Canada. So, for sure, we will connect the western part of Africa to Canada," he assured.

Such rights would allow the Ethiopian carrier to carry passengers and cargo from Ethiopia to Ghana and then on to Canada. According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Ethiopian Airlines currently operates 4x weekly fifth freedom flights via Dublin International (Ireland) to Toronto Pearson.

Canada is a popular destination for Ghanaian travellers, but there are currently no direct flights between West Africa and Canada. Ethiopian Airlines aims to meet equal high demand from East Africa by increasing capacity and potentially operating via West Africa, Gudeta explained. The carrier is looking to boost its frequencies from Addis to daily services to Toronto and 4x weekly to Montreal.

"If you are going to have more frequency, what I suggested to the authorities over there was also to operate via West Africa. The only thing I didn't mention was which country in West Africa. That is not in our hands because we have to talk to the authorities and we have to get authorisation, but we are very keen to operate to Canada via West Africa," he said.

ch-aviation has asked Ethiopian Airlines for formal comment.

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates long-haul fifth-freedom flights to the United States, including 3x weekly to Washington Dulles via Lomé (Togo) and daily via Dublin. It also operates 4x weekly via Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire) to New York JFK; and 4x weekly via Lomé to New York Newark. In addition, 3x weekly services route via Dublin to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson, while 6x weekly rotations to Chicago O'Hare also operate via Dublin, ch-aviation schedules data reveal. The airline also has daily flights via São Paulo Guarulhos to Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini.

Its long-haul fifth-freedom flights to Asia route via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta and Hong Kong International, and via Singapore Changi to Kuala Lumpur International.