Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday confirmed that it will operate a four-times-a-week service to Addis Ababa, the East African nation’s capital from Manchester Airport.
Manchester Airport has secured a landmark route into the heart of Africa, underlining its pivotal role in connecting the North to the world’s most important markets.
A statement issued in Accra by the Airline said the route would unlock connections to more than 58 countries across the African continent.
Ethiopian, which flies to more destinations in Africa than any other carrier, will operate the ultramodern B-787 on the route with business and economy classes.
It will serve as a key trade route for Northern businesses, opening up fresh export opportunities and delivering cost and journey time savings to those already operating there.
The service will start on December 1, initially transiting via Brussels and it would leave Manchester at 19:00 hours, arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 06:00hours, providing significant onward connectivity options from the African hub.
It said on the return it departs Addis Ababa at 00:45 and arrives in Manchester at 06:55.
Mr Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Airport said: “The introduction of this route underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting the people and businesses of the North to the world’s most important markets.”
“While we have served a number of African holiday destinations for many years, this service will provide vital connectivity to one of the continent’s most important hub airports,” he added.
He said that would unlock dozens more destinations across Africa through Ethiopian Airlines’ unrivalled network, meaning the North would be better connected to this part of the world than ever before.
Mr Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said: “We are elated to start services to Manchester, our second destination in the UK next to London Heathrow which we have been serving since 1973.”
He said as the leading African carrier with the widest network in the continent, passengers from Manchester would enjoy convenient and seamless connectivity options to 58 African destinations operated with cutting-edge fleet.
“The socio-economic implication of the new flight is immense, with vast investment and trade potentials between Africa and the UK, the upcoming flight holds the promise of boosting trade, investment and tourism with ample business opportunities for investors and business people from both regions.
Mr Alex Marshall, Group Marketing and Compliance Director, Clarke Energy (Liverpool) and Northern Powerhouse Export Champion, said: “With our extensive operations across Africa, we are pleased to learn about this new flight to Addis Ababa from Manchester Airport, giving us extensive new route options across the continent.
“The route has the potential to be a massive benefit to our business through journey time savings and the excellent onward connectivity Ethiopian Airlines will provide.”
Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, Sheona Southern, said: “The new route connecting Manchester with Addis Ababa is a great success for Greater Manchester and for the wider North of England. This opens up Greater Manchester to visitors, businesses investors and students from a new continent.”
“Greater Manchester’s growth strategy has internationalisation at its heart, and Manchester has set a clear target to become a top global city by 2035. If we’re to achieve this aim, it’s vital that we continue to increase our connections with major international hubs, increasing the opportunities for global networks to choose Manchester as a place to visit, meet, invest and study in.
The new route is set to benefit 400,000 people in Manchester Airport’s extensive catchment area, who currently travel to Addis Ababa and other key cities across Africa via other means.