Africa’s largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines has launched direct flight connectivity between Chennai and Addis Ababa. A top official said on July 3 that flight services would be operated thrice a week, with Chennai being the fourth destination for the airline after New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Ethiopian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Lemma Yedecha said, “This is our fourth destination and the first connecting service since the pandemic. We were able to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 in the last three years and are now on a growth trajectory. ” Gudeta told PTI after unveiling the service.
He said that the launch of this service marks the 50th anniversary of the seamless flight service between Mumbai and Ethiopia. According to him, Ethiopian Airlines will double daily and ten weekly flights to the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, apart from opening a new route to Chennai.
Gudetta said the company will operate a Boeing 737 on the Chennai-Addis Ababa route and target people taking tours for medical treatment from Africa to the southern parts of the country, students and South Indians living in Africa.
Asked whether the airline was planning to connect cities other than Chennai to Addis Ababa, he replied in the affirmative that Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are “under the radar”. Gudeta said the airliner is also planning to connect Colombo, Karachi and Dhaka on international routes.
Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister M Mathiventhan said through a video message, “We look forward to any future plans from Tamil Nadu with Ethiopian Airlines and many people this is being used by students, businessmen and many patients traveling from Africa to Tamil Nadu. A cost-effective treatment.”
“I think this flight (between Chennai-Addis Ababa) will be really helpful for all walks of people, not only for patients, students and exporters but also for many other tourists,” he said.
Mesfin Taseev, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines Group, said, “We have been connecting Asia and Africa for 55 years and are now facilitating trade between the two continents. The addition of Chennai as the fourth passenger destination in India serves our purpose. This is a testament to our resilience and unwavering commitment to our customers in India. We will continue to serve India with increased frequency and more destinations in the future,” he added.
(with inputs from PTI)