Ethiopia Airlines Takes Over As No.1 Flight Choice For Somalis
In 2018 Ethiopia's flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) started weekly direct passenger flights between Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, after 41 years break, adding momentum to increasing bilateral economic ties. Ethiopian Airlines has offered a reliable option for Somalis travelling the world and coming back to the country and Addis Ababa has become the biggest connection route for Somalis from London, Minneapolis US, Oslo and Nairobi now they meet Addis Ababa. Ethiopia Airlines makes 9 flights a day in Somalia 3 to Mogadishu and 2 to Garowe and 2 Hargeisa and 2 Cargo “Morning afternoon and evening flights are ready and reliable you don’t miss anything, “said Farhiya Ahmed a Somali in the diaspora who uses the Addis Ababa route many times. Additionally, Somalia citizens now arrive in Addis Ababa without visa just on arrival. Everyone who has a Somali passport can easily travel to Ethiopia for health, business and family re-union as Somalis in western countries sponsoring families to reunite, Yusuf Mire working Mogadishu airport told Dalsan. "As Nairobi now is tight to travel because of the diplomatic crisis between the 2 countries Ethiopia now has become the better option for connection and everything” Mire added. The launch of commercial flights between Ethiopia and Somalia also came amid wider optimism in the Horn of Africa region and came after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a state visit last year and Farmaajo build the relationship with Ethiopia stronger than before. Ethiopia is willing to give a chance to our products like fish to boost trade ties between Somalia and Ethiopia Somalia embassy to Ethiopia told Dalsan. “Ethiopia tickets are affordable than Turkish but as a traveller, I prefer Ethiopia Airlines," said, Abdullahi Mohamed. Somalia and Ethiopia celebrate the restart of flights between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, as the new flight route significantly cuts the travel time he had to endure to travel between the two cities. "When I was coming to Addis Ababa from Mogadishu, I used to go through Nairobi or Djibouti city or forced to transit through other places to come to Addis Ababa," Abdi said. "It took four to five hours to come to Addis Ababa, but now it was made easy but now I can travel in less than two hours thanks to Ethiopian Airlines," Abdi added. Ethiopia Airlines operate the routes to Mogadishu and Hargeisa once a week offering a cargo capacity. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebre Mariam, for his part, emphasized the historical nature of the resumption of flights between Addis Ababa-Mogadishu and its potential economic benefits. "Today is a great day to re-start a direct flight between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu after 40 years, today is a historical day. Trade, investment and tourism ties between Ethiopia and Somalia have been challenged by lack of adequate air connectivity," he said. "The resumption of air services will promote will tourism, trade relations and investment between Ethiopia and Somalia, as well promote cross border investment and people-to-people relations," he further said.