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Industry Briefs
Los Angeles Celebrates The Launch Of Ethiopian Airlines Direct Flight To East Africa


More than 400 friends of Ethiopian Airlines and dignitaries in Los Angeles, celebrated the launch of Ethiopian Airlines’ newest service Saturday evening, June 20th, at the Ray Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.   An evening filled with good food, drink and entertainment heralded the only direct flight to Addis Ababa and the shortest flying time to East Africa from Los Angeles with connections to 52 destinations throughout Africa.  In addition, with a stop in Dublin, Ireland , it is the only non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Dublin.

 In attendance to kick off the new service in high style and adding significance to this coveted event was Tewolde Gebremariam , CEO of Ethiopian Airlines; official Los Angeles delegates; the Ambassador of Ireland; and other dignitaries from all three countries.

 There were many highlights during the evening with performing artists from both Ethiopia and Ireland, and greetings from special guests, emceed by the well-known TV host Joseph Rosendo of Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope .  Speakers included Mr. Gebremariam; Ambassador Zerihun Retta , Consul General of Ethiopia in the US; Ambassador of Ethiopia to the US H. E. Girma Birru ; Niall Gibbons , CEO of Tourism Ireland; Samson Mengistu , Deputy Executive Director Administration of Los Angeles World Airports.  Mayor Eric Garcetti  of Los Angeles greeted the audience from a video message.

 Noted chef Wolfgang Puck catered the event and he was a guest accompanied by his Ethiopian-born wife, Gelila.  At drawings throughout the evening, four fortunate individuals received a complimentary trip to Ethiopia on Ethiopian Airlines.  Happy guests departed with gift bags filled with a model Boeing Dreamliner, pens from Boeing, luggage tags courtesy of Discover Los Angeles, miniature bottles of Pernod-Ricard’s Jameson Irish Whiskey and half pound bags of Keffa Ethiopian Coffee.  Preceding the gala, media from the Los Angeles area were invited to a press conference at the Ray Dolby theatre.

 LAX marked the arrival of Flight 504 on the morning of June 20th, with a separate celebration at the airport. The plane was saluted by fire trucks with flashing lights driven out to meet the arriving plane. 

A reception,  with food and beverage, followed at the airline’s designated gate in the Tom Bradley International Terminal , featuring cultural dancers of both Ethiopia and Ireland.  The highlight was a ribbon-cutting ceremony executed by the Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, and Eric Eide , Director of International Trade for the city of Los Angeles.  Brief speeches were followed by cake cutting and a champagne toast.  Irish and Ethiopian musicians accompanied guests as they departed the airport.

The three-times-a-week flights stand to be very popular with Ethiopians living in the Los Angeles area as well as other international travelers going to Ethiopia for leisure or business or who wish to spend time in Ireland.  The Dreamliner is known for being quieter in the cabin, is equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment system, and spacious lie-flat seats in Business Class.

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