As I mentioned earlier, we were faced with a last-minute dilemma: We needed to get from Addis to Cairo, but the only direct flight left at like 3am…and we both absolutely detest redeyes…especially ones that are 1 hour long. No thanks! We had planned to transit for a day in Yemen, but they weren’t so keen on issuing visas at the time…pulling ours at the last minute. For some reason, a spark went off, and I looked into the possibility of connecting via the newest country: South Sudan. Shockingly, the times were perfect, middle of the day, fares were pretty reasonable…and it all ticketed! The only concern was that visa requirements for South Sudan were very unclear. I figured we could wing it at the gate and get away with it…and that’s what happened!
Ethiopian Flight 490
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Juba, South Sudan
Depart 11:05, Arrive 13:05, Duration 2 hours
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700, Registration ET-ALM, Manufactured 2004
There was a bit of confusion when we got to the airport. Ethiopian’s website now listed this flight at noon, as did a few flight tracking apps, but the check-in agent, the airport monitors, and all other “official” sources still listed it on time at 11:05. Guess what happened 😉 So, we checked in at the international terminal in Addis…only to be sent to the Domestic terminal. Seems that certain flights – with little rhyme or reason – still depart from this terminal. Computers were slow, eventually they checked us in (the walk between terminal is 5 minutes or so max) and immigration was a breeze, and we were in the lounge. Free water and diet coke made us happy while we waited. This whole time – NOBODY knew when the flight would really leave. The lounge was outside security, so we took turns clearing security to check at the gate.
As predicted, the plane had come from Rome, and we ended up boarding around 11:45.
On the taxi, we went past the airplane graveyard/etc in Addis which had a few interesting relics: