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Getting around by air

Ethiopian Airlines (www.ethiopianairlines.com) is the only domestic carrier, with a comprehensive domestic route service and a solid safety record.

It’s well worth considering a domestic flight or two, even if you’re travelling on a budget. While prices cannot be described as cheap, it does eliminate long, bumpy bus rides. If you want a window seat to enjoy Ethiopia's scenic landscapes from above, check in early.

  • Standard security procedures apply at all airports. The baggage limit is 20kg on domestic flights. Don’t bring bulky hand luggage as the interiors are quite small.
  • Most flights leave from Addis Ababa, but not all are nonstop, which means you can also jump from one town to another. For instance, most of the daily Addis Ababa–Aksum flights stop at either Bahir Dar, Gonder or Lalibela en route.
  • Buying domestic tickets from an agency on arrival in Ethiopia is almost always cheaper than buying them online from outside the country.
  • Booking early to ensure a seat is particularly important on the Historical Circuit and during major festivals.
  • Technically you should reconfirm all domestic flights 72 hours in advance. This is of course a very good idea, though we’ve never done this and have never had any problems. Still, it's far better to err on the side of caution.
  • Beware that schedules are occasionally forced to change due to weather or mechanical difficulties, so try not to plan an itinerary that’s so tight that it doesn’t make allowances for these changes.