Take offs & Landings
With a little shrewd where an airline transit stop can pop
Romancing the Stopover – Transit stops pop. Plus new route news.
While the world is looking to non-stop routes to ferry impatient passengers those 8000plus miles across the globe in marathon sit-downs of more than 16 hours, many of the world’s airlines have another great idea: the old fashion stopover.
Gone are the days of puddle jumping from airport to airport in arcs that might take three days to complete between the US west coast and Europe or Africa. But on the comeback are days of stopping over in a destination between the one you left and the one you are going to for an enjoyable add-on to your journey.
There are some ten official stopover destinations between the US and third countries. The latest is Ethiopian Airlines, which flies non-stop from Los Angeles to Dublin and then, after a two-hour layover, onto Addis Ababa in a complete trip that can take around 20 hours for some – or a couple of months for others.
The airline takes advantage of complex bi-lateral negotiations resulting in what’s known as “Fifth Freedom” rights. The term stems from the nine air-rights or “freedoms” that countries typically negotiate in their bilateral aviation contracts outlining the parameters of their landing rights. These range from straightforward, one-way rights to fly from one country to another to complex third country operations that may or may not stir up controversy.
The stopover is often a hidden gem for fliers and something airlines are just now beginning to market as a desired commodity. They are not granted but something to be negotiated within their commercial aviation portfolio and may involve a stopover in a third country, or in the case of the “Sixth Freedom,” a welcomed stopover in the airline’s home country for passengers flying onward to someplace else.
Fifth Freedoms can be a boost for travelers trying to save money and squeeze in a little extra travel between their points A and points B – offering them adventure and added value along certain routes. Here are some ways to do it while managing to take in some unexpected wonders.