Ethiopian Airlines to start new direct flights to Durban!
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ethiopian Airlines is set to start direct flights from Durban to Addis Ababa from the 16th of December 2015. Ethiopian Airlines is now the third international carrier to commit to putting in a direct flight into Durban’s’ King Shaka International Airport this year. Ethiopian will be flying three weekly flights (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, the flights will land at13h40 and depart again at 14h30).
The airline will be operating a next generation Boeing 737-800, aircraft that can accommodate 15 business-class and 137 economy-class passengers.
This new route will provide access to eastern and western Africa, parts of the Middle East and Europe as well as the far east, through Ethiopian Airlines hub in Addis Ababa which serves over 90 destinations.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Michael Mabuyakhulu said “We are extremely please as the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, in particular, that Ethiopian Airlines will fly directly into King Shaka International Airport. As the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, we have always emphasised the fact that, with Africa emerging as one of economic frontiers, we need to locate our economic fortunes within the continent. It is because of this reason that we have worked tirelessly to improve air connectivity between our province and the African continent as part of our airlift strategy in order to improve our gateway status to the continent.”
South Africa and Ethiopia share a common vision and a long standing history of promoting intra-African trade and development, the goodwill that exists between these two countries has also provided a firm basis for building stronger cooperation in various sphears, which include: political and economic, trade, investment, health, agriculture, education as well as capacity building and tourism development. This new route represents a significant step in strengthening economic ties and in facilitating prospective investments and exports to Ethiopia.
Mr Mabuyakhulu continued “We are, particularly, pleased that one of the biggest airlines on the African continent has joined a number of other airlines which fly directly into our airport, a development which bodes well for the aviation fortunes of our province and our airport. This announcement comes after years of long and painstaking negotiations with airlines, which culminated with the province hosting for the first time on the African continent the 2015 World Routes Congress during which we clinched a number of deals with airlines, which will fly into King Shaka International Airport. Through Ethiopian Airlines’ extensive network in Central, Northern and Eastern Africa, the province will access huge opportunities for trade and tourism in one of the fastest growing regions on the continent. More importantly, this gives us access into Europe and Asia, through the airline’s air connectivity with other continents."
With the introduction of latest international carriers to Durban, it means that passengers flying directly from KwaZulu-Natal will increasingly experience a positive impact on their travel times as well as the competitiveness of rates, as passengers begin to have more options, while tourist numbers are also set increase as Durban is linked to major centers in Ethiopia, Turkey, Qatar, Mauritius, Zambia and their respective onward destinations.