ADDIS ABABA— Ethiopian Airlines has increased its weekly direct flights to China to 34 with the opening of thrice weekly flights to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.
Speaking at a ceremony starting the flight to Chengdu on Sunday in Addis Ababa International Airport premises, Liu Tao, Counselor at the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia said with Chengdu being an economic and culture hub for inland part of China the new route has great potential to enhance the agricultural, trading, tourism cooperation with the outside of the world with Ethiopian acting as bridge.
“The enhancement of people to people exchange is also a result of the cooperation between these two great civilizations in all areas including trade, investment, cultural education and agriculture vice versa with the booming of cooperation between these two countries bringing more and more people to exchanges,” he said.
Busera Awol, Chief Commercial Officer at Ethiopian Airlines, said the new route is just the latest manifestation of both countries’ deep bond ever since 1973 when the national carrier opened its first route to Beijing.
“We shall offer the best and fastest connectivity with a total 34 weekly flights to China,” he said.
“With this new flight to Chengdu the major hub for Air China, which is our ally and star alliance partner, passengers from Ethiopian Airlines’ vast and growing network, will be able to connect to dozens of cities in China, including Shenzhen, Kunming, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Changsha and Urumqi, similarly Chinese travelers will enjoy faster travel and connection to more than 54 countries and further to Sao Paulo, Brazil and the U.S. with minimum layover in Addis Ababa Hub,” explained Awol.
As part of its commitment, Ethiopian plans to utilize it’s latest fleet, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus 350 airplanes, emphasizing how it values its share in the world’s largest air travel market.
Ethiopian Airlines was the first African carrier and the fourth in the word to fly to China back in 1973. In addition to the Already launched three weekly flights to Chengdu, Ethiopian Airlines currently operates daily nonstop flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hongkong.