Ethiopian Airlines is launching three-times-weekly service from Addis Ababa to Dammam, the capital of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, on February 12.

Ethiopian Airlines is launching three-times-weekly service from Addis Ababa to Dammam, the capital of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, on February 12.

Dammam is a large metropolitan and industrial area that lies on a peninsula stretching out into the Persian Gulf. It is a major seaport, exporting and importing a wide variety of goods and commodities. It is a center for the oil and gas industry and is the commercial center for eastern Saudi Arabia.

The city also has tourist attractions such as its Coastal Sports Center, Half Moon Beach, King Fahd Park and Alkhleej Makarim Village, where tourists can engage in mountain climbing, hiking, skiing or surfing.

Ethiopian Airlines' fleet includes five Boeing 737-700s (of which is shown here departing Boeing Field in 2004) and a growing number of Boeing 737-800s. The carrier has a total of 15 737-800s in service and on order. Ethiopian also operates Boeing 757s, Boeing 767-300ERs, Boeing 777-200LRs and Bombardier Q400s, and has 10 Boeing 787-8s on firm order. The carrier also flies two Boeing 757PCF converted freighters and two Boeing 747-200F freighters and has four Boeing 777 Freighters on order

“The new flight services to Dammam provide opportunities for business people as well as tourists to explore Dammam’s investment and leisure potentials,” says Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

Dammam will be Ethiopian’s eighth destination in the Middle East and its 64th worldwide.

Ethiopian Airlines’ schedule for the new service calls for flight ET422 to depart Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport (IATA code ADD) at 10:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and arrive at Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport (DMM, the largest airport in the world in terms of overall land area) at 2:30 a.m. the next morning. Addis Ababa and Dammam are in the same time zone, which is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

In the other direction, flight ET423 is timed to leave DMM at 3:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and touch down at ADD at 7:30 a.m.

Ethiopian Airlines says the new flight will connect Dammam to dozens of cities in Africa via the airline’s hub at Addis Ababa. The flight is timed to make convenient connections to and from cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe and Dakar.

Ethiopian Airlines has served Saudi Arabia longer than any other country in the Middle East for Ethiopian Airlines except for Yemen. Saudi Arabia is also the only country in the region where the airline currently plans to serve three cities: Ethiopian already serves Jeddah and Riyadh.

To mark the new Addis Ababa-Dammam service, Ethiopian is offering a promotional round-trip fare on the route from the Ethiopian capital. The fare starts from US$360 and is valid for travel until November 30, 2012.

Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 airports in 189 countries.

To find hotel deals in Addis Ababa, click here. To find hotel deals in Dammam, visit here.