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Ethiopian Airlines returns to Singapore Changi Airport

Star Alliance carrier Ethiopian Airlines is returning to Singapore next year, with four times weekly flights linking Changi Airport to Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur, including award space.

Overseas carriers are continuing their return to Singapore Changi Airport as global pandemic restrictions ease and operations ramp up, with Star Alliance carrier Ethiopian Airlines confirmed as the latest addition to the schedules from March 2023.

This will mean Africa’s largest airline once again connecting the Lion City to both Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur, following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

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Passengers will be able to connect onto the rest of the Ethiopian network through its hub, or even take a short hop to and from Malaysia, with redemptions possible from Star Alliance frequent flyer programmes including KrisFlyer.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787s will fly to and from Singapore Changi Airport again from March 2023. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)

The schedule

Ethiopian first launched flights at Singapore Changi Airport in June 2017, but discontinued its service in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changi Airport has announced that the carrier will reinstate four times weekly flights between Singapore and Addis Ababa next March, as shown in the following schedule.

Ethiopian Airlines
Singapore – Addis Ababa
(from 25th March 2023)

  Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ethiopian_Airlines-small.png ET639
787-8
SIN
02:00
ADD
05:50
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ethiopian_Airlines-small.png ET638
787-8
     
ADD
23:20
SIN
14:50*

* Next day

Ethiopian flights used Changi Terminal 3 prior to the pandemic, but the operating terminal for these services has not been confirmed at the time of writing, so this could become another T2 addition.

Addis Ababa is Ethiopian’s hub and represents only the the third direct connection on the continent from Changi, after Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ethiopian Airlines to Changi Airport again. Ethiopian Airlines has been consistently voted as the Best Airline in Africa, and the network from its Addis Ababa hub connects with more than 60 destinations on the African continent. The flight between Singapore and Ethiopia will offer more travel options for passengers from our region to Africa.”

Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director of Air Hub Development, CAG

Prior to COVID-19, Ethiopian was operating five times weekly on this routing using Boeing 787-8 aircraft, so this reinstatement of four times weekly service with the same type represents 80% of pre-pandemic capacity for the carrier to and from Singapore.

Flights will use 270-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft with the following configuration:

  • 24 Business Class
  • 246 Economy Class

“We are delighted to continue our service to Singapore, which was suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The flight will further expand our network in Asia and create air connectivity for passengers travelling between Africa and Singapore.”

Mr Mesfin Tasew, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines

Regionally, Ethiopian Airlines already serves Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Manila, through a mixture of non-stop and one-stop services.

Ethiopian Airlines Business Class

Ethiopian Airlines has 19 Boeing 787-8 aircraft in its fleet, but has two different ‘Cloud Nine’ (Business Class) seat types installed:

9 aircraft have the Collins Diamond Parallel seats
(180-degree recline)

10 aircraft have the Zodiac Aura Lite seats
(160-degree recline)

Both configurations have 24 seats in a 2-2-2 layout and are used interchangeably on the network, so it’s nearly impossible to know which one you’ll have until you step on board.

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Neither of these products provide the benefit of direct aisle access for all passengers, but for couples, they probably remain a good option.

Singapore – Kuala Lumpur flights

Ethiopian also has “fifth freedom” traffic rights on its Singapore – Kuala Lumpur services, which are an extension to its long-haul Addis Ababa flights, and allow the carrier to tap two markets with one flight number, but also to sell seats solely between these regional cities.

As a result, the flight timings are a little strange.

Ethiopian Airlines
Singapore – Kuala Lumpur
(from 25th March 2023)

  Days
M T W T F S S
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ethiopian_Airlines-small.png ET638
787-8
SIN
15:50
KUL
17:10
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ethiopian_Airlines-small.png ET639
787-8
     
KUL
23:15
SIN
00:35*

* Next day

If you really need to maximise your day in KL and return to Singapore as late as possible, the ET639 option could be a good one, operating over 2.5 hours after the last SIA service on this route four days per week.

Your late-night KL – Singapore option using KrisFlyer miles, four days per week from late March 2023

Award redemptions

Flights on these routes have now been loaded into the schedules, so it’s already possible to book cash fares or redeem miles.

These are the award rates applicable for Ethiopian Airlines flights to or from Singapore.

Ethiopian Airlines redemption
Singapore – Addis Ababa
(one-way)
FFP used Economy Business
KFtrans 43,500 69,000
MMtrans 30,000 56,000
EVtrans 40,000 67,500
LMtrans 48,000 81,000
Ethiopian Airlines redemption
Singapore – Kuala Lumpur
(one-way)
FFP used Economy Business
KFtrans 8,500 21,000
LMtrans 8,000