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China Daily Website  

Ethiopian Airlines is a high-flyer in China

Updated: 2014-08-15 18:34
By Li Jing (chinadaily.com.cn)

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines in Africa, is looking for its sixth destination in China after Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai, a move that demonstrates its high-flying ambition for the Chinese market.

"It will be located in western China," said Liu Xin, Ethiopian Airlines' marketing manager in China. "After thorough research, we will decide between Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, and Chongqing." The new destination is expected to be operational early next year.

Just five months ago the carrier launched its maiden nonstop flight to Shanghai.

With 28 weekly flights, China is the single largest country network in the airlines' overseas system.

"China has become the most significant overseas market of the airline," said Konjit Tedla, Ethiopian Airlines' chief representative in China, Mongolia and North Korea.

"As a truly African airline, our goal is to connect Africa with financial, industrial and business centers around the world, and China is among such centers. With bilateral trade flourishing and the investment environment thriving, the airline decided to use state-of-the-art aircraft to shuttle between China and Africa and serve as the major driving force of Sino-African economic development. We will continue to promote the relationship between China and Africa as a vital air bridge," said Tedla.

In addition to business passengers, Tedla also expects to attract more Chinese tourists to take Ethiopian flights.

Ethiopia's stated-owned national airline was the first outside Japan to receive the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the world's most advanced commercial aircraft. It now has nine 787 Dreamliners, with three serving its routes in China.

Ethiopian Airlines was the first African airline to connect China with Africa, with its first flight to Beijing in 1973. With 28 direct flights per week, Ethiopian Airlines is the leading airline in Africa, linking the continent and China.

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