The problem is that if they look for it to feed Europe it makes adding it on to an Asian route (say ADD-SIN) difficult since it'll be poorly timed for European connections. European flights from ADD depart in the evening, while Asian arrivals in ADD are timed for the morning to make African connections. If they adjust ADD-SIN, then ADD-SIN becomes poorly timed for African connections (which is their primary market from Asia). This makes the Asian stop a catch-22.
I had never considered ET feeding Europe from Australia. If anything it would be scraping the bottom of the barrel especially in light of strong established players in that space.The primary goal would indeed be to connect to African destinations.
As the A350 starts to take over a few more North American and Asian routes from the B788, it'll allow the B788s to add European capacity (just like we've seen with the recent additions of Geneva, Marseille and Moscow).
MRS *could* be considered as a low yield seasonal traffic compared to Nice/NCE (+ SVO/GVA; in your example), so why did they choose this city compared to BOD (Bordeaux) with a mixed population or BER/CPH? According to you, which European destination can sustain an ET 2nd daily flight - all year round?
MRS gives ET traffic that will feed its flights into Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar. The last two have seen rapid growth for ET, and I expect them to expand further in the area with Mauritius, possibly Dzaoudzi (where KQ has flown for ages,) and Reunion if they decide to relax on protectionism.
I think they're still missing ZRH, a second German destination (MUC or TXL), return to AMS in terms of new flights.
They'd love to increase their LHR flights but the right slots of elusive and ET are not the type to overpay for slots. They might look to increase FRA instead of a second German destination. CDG and FCO are probably long shots.
ZRH might be a long ways away, even GVA with its ties to UN took this long to open up. ET has in recent history opted to open routes at Star hubs, even Vienna out of the blue is served almost daily. I dont't know if GVA or ZRH will give ET the connectivity options that it has enjoyed at other Star hubs given agreements that it may or may not have with Swiss. Recall that ET doesn't have such agreements with Brussels either.
LHR is too expensive to expand into with a more generic schedule, but they are making do. Up to 2x daily A350s is big for ET. In Germany, I expect MUC, not FRA for the latter is over served by LH and ET.
I have noticed how Ethiopian has slowly built up its service to Toronto. Having started with only 3 flights per week now up to five, and starting out with the B788, it's now flying the B77L. Of interest are loads this week, where seats in Y on ADD-YYZ sector are scarce, and it's not peak season yet.
I can imagine ET would love to fly daily into YYZ; however, as you may know Canada is very restrictive with giving traffic rights. ET only received its increase to 5x weekly in late 2017. So, only way ET can expand is by capacity increase.
With the promising loads, hopefully Canada will grant a further expansion of frequencies. Perhaps a codeshare between AC and ET could support ET's cause. The 2, despite being in Star Alliance, don't seem to cooperate that much.
ET has done very well at YYZ despite the restrictions. From 3 to now 5 flights a week, and yes, the capacity increase is how it can make it work going forward. Canada's argument when it comes to rights is about traffic between the two states, not onward traffic. At least that's what it has used with UAE in order to restrict EK and company. AC favours its transatlantic partnership with LH over anything else, and would avoid anything that would erode that unless it is comparable, and codeshares with ET out of LHR, CDG with ET placing its code out of those cities into YYZ also. Take an AC red eye out of western Canadian cities into YYZ and you will always see Ethiopia-bound pax boarding. I am looking at fares to ADD from Western Canada at peak December travel and seeing < $1100CAD all in with AC/ET via YYZ, which is historical low (about $820USD.)