Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to re-position the country as a model for Africa. His latest feat came yesterday when it was announced that Ethiopian Airlines direct flights will resume operations to Somalia after a 41-year absence.
This came after his highly publicized meeting with and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed which was agreed in June to strengthen relationships between the two countries.
Announcing the development, the Ethiopian Airline Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said:
“Flight to Mogadshu is our 117 destination after over 40 years…that is achieved because of the peace and friendship prevailing in the Horn of Africa.
“This direct commercial flight to Somalia promotes tourism, trade and investment, we are planning to start cargo flight and increase the flight frequencies to daily and double daily.
“We have already checked that Mogadishu is peaceful and secured now.k
“Our flights will quickly grow to multiple daily flights given the huge volume of traffic between the two sisterly countries and the significant traffic between Somalia and the rest of the world.”
You will recall that Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights to Eritrea in June this year after twenty years when both countries nursed a diplomatic brawl despite their close boundaries.
Ethiopia Airline is a Pan-African brand and was on record to have generated $2.7 Billion revenue in 2017/2018 alone, making it Africa’s largest.
The airline has acquired minor stakes in other African carriers like Malawi and Zambia's national airline, and now serve as a regional base. It is also in discussions to set up carriers in countries like Guinea, Chad, Djibouti, etc. like it did in Mozambique.