Ethiopian Airlines is planning to launch seven new destinations within five months during the first half of 2017.
The addition of the seven destinations will be one of the largest expansions in Ethiopian’s history, according to the airline.
In the five months from February through June, Ethiopian will launch new services from its Addis Ababa hub to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe; Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo; Guinea’s capital Conakry; Norway’s capital Oslo; Chengdu in China; Indonesia’s capital Jakarta; and Singapore.
With the addition of these new destinations, Ethiopian Airlines will offer services from Addis Ababa to 98 cities internationally.
“Africa’s share of the global aviation [market] is the smallest … only around 3%,” says Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO. “As the largest airline group in the continent, we are highly concerned on the low base of air connectivity in the continent and we are setting record expansion to enable Africans enjoy safe, reliable and economical air connectivity both within the continent and between the continent and the rest of the world.”
Adds GebreMariam: “Looking beyond the current economic slowdown, especially in the oil export-dependent economies of Africa, we firmly believe that the continent will become the magnet for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism, which are the engines of air travel growth. In turn, efficient air connectivity also drives socio-economic development and we are happy to contribute our share in the 21st century African transformation.”
In 2016, Ethiopian Airlines launched new routes to Moroni in the Comoros Islands, Namibia’s capital Windhoek, and Newark, as well as to three cities in Ethiopia ‒ Hawassa, Kebridahar and Dembidolo.
Ethiopian’s route-development plans call for it to be serving 120 destinations internationally by 2025. This means the carrier expects to add another 22 international destinations in the seven years from 2018 through 2024.
Based at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines operates a diverse fleet which includes Bombardier Q400s, Boeing 737-700s, 737-800s, 757-200PCFs, 767-300ERs, 777-200LRs, 777-300ERs, 777Fs, 787-8s and Airbus A350-900s.